x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Kuwaiti PM calls for new start after surviving vote of non-cooperation

Prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed al Sabah received 25 votes in his favour and 18 against, while six eligible MPs abstained.

The Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al Mohammad Al Sabah, centre, survived the non-cooperation vote 25-18. Raed Qutena / EPA
The Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al Mohammad Al Sabah, centre, survived the non-cooperation vote 25-18. Raed Qutena / EPA

KUWAIT CITY // The prime minister of Kuwait yesterday eased past a vote of non-cooperation in parliament over allegations that he favoured ties with Iran over states in the Gulf Cooperation Council.

"The constitution, the constitution, the constitution - long live democracy," Sheikh Nasser Mohammed al Sabah told a crowd of supporters gathered in the National Assembly after the vote.

The prime minister received 25 votes in his favour and 18 against, while six eligible MPs abstained. Sheikh Nasser's opponents needed 25 votes to leave the emir, Sheikh Sabah al Ahmed al Jaber al Sabah, with the decision to sack him or dissolve parliament and call for an election.

The prime minister said in a press release: "We hope to close this page and start a new area in the spirit of cooperation between the two authorities - executive and legislative - dominated by general interests above any others."

In a sign that the caustic relationship between ministers and opposition MPs has not been soothed by the result, members of the house quickly presented a motion to interpellate the premier, who has faced weeks of protests calling for his replacement over allegations of financial mismanagement and corruption.

Mohammed Hayef, an MP who voted against Sheikh Nasser, urged him to "leave his seat and hand over the authority to a new person to correct the mistakes of his consecutive governments".

The session was a "strong message" that the number of parliamentarians who will support the next motion of non-cooperation will increase, Mr Hayef added.

Sheikh Nasser, who has held his post since 2006, has survived three motions of non-cooperation.

 

jcalderwood@thenational.ae