Kuwait Amir asks outgoing PM to form new cabinet

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait’s Amir on Tuesday asked the outgoing prime minister to form a new government after the cabinet resigned to avoid possible questioning over the issue of unrest in neighbouring Bahrain.The old cabinet quit to avoid the grilling by parliament of three ministers, all members of the ruling Al Sabah family, amid calls for political and economic reform.Lawmakers had asked to question the ministers in the latest of a series of challenges by an unusually assertive Arab parliament that have delayed important economic reforms.Kuwait’s parliament has triggered numerous cabinet resignations or reshuffles through questioning.

The Amir of Kuwait, His Highness Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, issued a decree re-appointing Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad Al Sabah — the Amir’s nephew — to form another cabinet, KUNA reported.While tough questioning of ministers is an everyday occurrence in most parliaments, in Kuwait it is more akin to a direct challenge to the individual and an indirect challenge to the Amir, who has the last say in politics.The resignation could have been linked to tension in the Gulf, where Gulf Cooperation Council countries have backed Bahrain’s government in a crackdown on protesters.The news service of Al Watan newspaper, owned by the ruling family, has said the foreign minister faced questioning by lawmaker Saleh Ashour that could ‘provoke sectarianism’. Ashour has voiced support for Bahraini protesters.Several hundred Kuwaitis demonstrated last month calling for a new prime minister and political freedoms, but the world’s fourth-largest oil exporter has not experienced anything on the scale of the unrest in Bahrain. – Khaleejnews