Kuwait cabinet resigns ahead of reshuffle
KUWAIT CITY // Kuwait’s official news agency says the cabinet has resigned ahead of a reshuffle and plans by some legislators to submit a number of ministers to a parliamentary grilling.
“All the ministers have submitted their resignations to the prime minister to enable him to prepare for the requirements for the next stage,” said the state minister for cabinet affairs, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al Sabah, the government spokesman.
“The prime minister decided to refer the issue to the emir to take whatever steps necessary to serve national interests,” said Sheikh Mohammad.
Earlier, the parliament speaker, Marzouk Al Ghanem, said he had received an official government letter informing him that all 15 ministers had tendered their resignations.
The speaker also said the government would not participate in a parliament session originally scheduled for today, which has now been called off.
Kuwaiti media reported last week that the prime minister, Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah, a senior member of the ruling family, was preparing a major reshuffle.
The cabinet, which included seven members of the ruling Al Sabah family, was formed in August after parliamentary elections in July. Those elections were called after a constitutional court threw out the results of a December 2012 poll.
The ministerial resignations came almost at the same time as the constitutional court rejected two petitions to nullify July parliamentary polls and dissolve the five-month old assembly.
The ruling by the country’s top court, which cannot be challenged, means that the current parliament may become the first since 2003 to complete a full four-year term.
The cabinet was formed in early August following a snap parliamentary election called after the constitutional court nullified a previous poll and scrapped parliament on procedural grounds.
Some ministers had come under fire from MPs, who filed nearly a dozen requests to grill members of the government, including the prime minister.
Since early 2006, Kuwait has been in almost continuous political crisis, with a dozen cabinets quitting and parliament dissolved six times.
Opposition lawmakers have a powerful forum in parliament, often summoning officials to be questioned on policies. It has been dissolved in the past however when friction with the government became too high.
* Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, and Reuters
Updated: December 23, 2013 04:00 AM