Kuwait cabinet submits resignation

Kuwait cabinet submits resignationKUWAIT: Kuwait’s emir on Monday accepted the government’s resignation, the state news agency reported, in response to escalating demands by protesters and opposition deputies that the prime minister step down over corruption allegations.

Long-running political tensions increased dramatically this month when opposition lawmakers and protesters stormed parliament to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah.The Kuwaiti government resigned on Monday, parliamentary sources said, in response to escalating demands by protesters and opposition deputies that the prime minister step down over corruption allegations.

The oil-producing state has tolerated criticism of its government to a degree rare among its Gulf neighbours, helping to insulate it from the protest-driven political tumult that has helped topple four Arab leaders. But tensions rose dramatically this month when opposition lawmakers and protesters stormed parliament to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah. “The government has submitted its resignation to the emir,” one member of parliament told Reuters. The opposition was due to hold a protest outside the parliament building later on Monday.

It was not clear however if the resignation had been accepted by the ruling emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who could also dissolve parliament and set a date for an early vote. Parliamentary sources said if the resignation were accepted, it could take up to three months to form a new government. During that time parliament sessions would be suspended.The parliament speaker told reporters after a meeting with the emir and members of the cabinet that he had not been informed of any decision to dissolve the assembly. The storming of parliament followed a request filed by a group of MPs to question Sheikh Nasser, which was blocked by the cabinet in a move decried as unconstitutional by the opposition. Outspoken opposition MPs warned that if Sheikh Nasser did not take to the questioning stand on Nov. 29, they would escalate their campaign against him.

Kuwait has been locked in a long-running political battle between the government dominated by the ruling Al Sabah family and the 50-member parliament, which is elected. The emir, who appoints all but one member of Kuwait’s government including the prime minister, last week said he would not allow his PM to resign or dissolve the elected parliament, denouncing as a “black day” the storming of the assembly.  – Dailytimes