Kuwait government likely to resign: Reports

June 22, 2012

Kuwait’s four-month old government could resign, paving the way for the formation of a new cabinet that could include ministers from the parliament blocs.

Speculations about the possible cabinet resignation mounted hours after Ahmad Al Rajeeb, the social affairs and labour minister, has reportedly resigned.

No official confirmation of the resignation has been announced and under Kuwait’s constitution, the Amir has the right to accept it or reject it.

Al Rajeeb, who would have faced two separate questioning motions by lawmakers within eight days, is the second minister to quit after Mustafa Al Shamali, the finance minister who left the cabinet last month following a marathon grilling over allegations of management and financial irregularities, which he categorically denied.

Other ministers were reportedly ready to resign and the list published by Sabr news site includes Shaikh Mohammad Al Abdullah, the information minister, Anas Al Saleh, the commerce minister, Hani Hussain, the minister of oil, Nayef Al Hajraf, the education minister, Salem Al Adhina, the communication minister, Jamal Shihab, the justice and Islamic affairs minister, and Abdul Aziz Al Ebrahim, the electricity and water minister.

New cabinet

The eroding support for the government in the parliament dominated by a tribal-Islamist coalition is leaving it increasingly vulnerable to demands, requests and whims by lawmakers and to political stand-offs that stall development.

“The only way out of the current crisis is the resignation of the government and the formation of a new cabinet following an agreement with the parliament majority and according to a work plan drawn up with the parliament,” MP Faisal Al Musallam said.

The lawmaker has repeatedly called for a greater role for the parliament in running the country.

MP Abdul Rahman Al Anjari said the resignation of two ministers should be used to introduce a wide cabinet reshuffle that would see either the parliament majority hold several ministries or the formation of a national salvation government that would include lawmakers from the majority and the minority groups.

“The government should have seven or right ministers from the majority bloc,” he said in a statement quoted by Al Aan news site.

Al Anjari said that he too supported a full parliamentary democracy where the lawmakers who win the elections are appointed ministers.

“However, there is also the choice of a national salvation government that enables all blocs in the parliament to have ministers. This will put an end to the stand-offs between the political powers in the country and will secure the interest of the nation,” he said.

Ready to cooperate

MP Waleed Al Tabtabai said he expected the government to hand in its resignation after the social affairs and labour minister quit.

The conservative lawmaker, a leader in the parliament majority bloc, said they were ready to cooperate with a new government, but added that nine cabinet portfolios should be given to the MPs.

“The goal of our participation is to benefit from the competence levels we have in our bloc,” he said. “We want to have real influence because we do not want to join the government just for the sake of being part of it.”

However, Al Tabtabai said the bloc was ready to listen to suggestions about the number of majority MPs who could join the government.

The lawmaker said Shaikh Jaber Al Mubarak, the current prime minister, would be asked to form the new government, but would not re-appoint the ministers “who faced special observations.”




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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