Kuwait’s government resigns ahead of anticipated elections

The government in Kuwait has resigned in the past, particularly when faced with no-confidence votes and grilling of ruling family members. (File/AFP)
Updated 14 November 2019

Kuwait’s government resigns ahead of anticipated elections

  • An election is also expected for the 50-seat parliament in early 2020
  • Emir of Kuwait accepted the resignation Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah

KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti prime minister resigned on Thursday along with his cabinet amid allegations of infighting between ministers and criticism of their performance.
Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah "submitted the resignation of the cabinet to the emir... in order to allow for a cabinet reshuffle," government spokesman Tareq Al-Mazrem said.
Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah accepted his resignation, the official KUNA news agency reported.
Minister of Finance Nayef Al-Hajraf resigned last month to avoid being questioned in parliament over violating Islamic law by charging interest on loans taken by retired Kuwaitis from the state-run pension agency.
And Public Works Minister Jenan Bushehri announced her resignation following a lengthy grilling in parliament during which she came under fire for alleged mismanagement of her portfolios and poor use of public funds.
On Tuesday, parliament also grilled Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, a member of the ruling family, over similar accusations and MPs filed a no-confidence motion to oust him.
Independent MP Saleh Ashour told AFP that as well as those criticisms, disputes between ministers over the current composition of the cabinet had also triggered the resignation.
Parliament speaker Marzouk Al-Ghanem told reporters Thursday that "a large group of MPs believe that the problem lies in the government team because it is not homogenous".
He however ruled out the possibility that parliament could be dissolved by the emir.
After accepting the resignation, the emir can rename the outgoing premier or appoint a new head of government to form the cabinet, the eighth since 2011.
Kuwait is the only Gulf state with a fully elected parliament that enjoys wide legislative powers and can vote ministers out of office.
The  country has been shaken by political disputes between lawmakers and the ruling family-led government for over a decade, with parliament and cabinets dissolved several times.
A demonstration held outside parliament last week over alleged rampant corruption was reminiscent of past crises that have marred political life in the country.


UAE cancels visa extension for expatriates

Updated 23 min 19 sec ago

UAE cancels visa extension for expatriates

  • The UAE’s decision to extend the validity of identity cards that expired on March 31 until December 31 was canceled
  • The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship will begin charging fees for its services starting July 12

DUBAI: The UAE Cabinet has revised its earlier regulations for residency visas of expatriates whose stay in the country was affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
UAE residents, whether they are in or outside the country, whose visas expired between March 1 and March 31 this year were given three months to renew their documents after the government took back its earlier decision to extend the validity until the end of December.
The UAE’s decision to extend the validity of identity cards that expired on March 31 until December 31 was also canceled.
The UAE Cabinet’s resolution took immediate effect.
“The decision came after the current situation was studied in detail to ensure that there were no negative effects or repercussions on various sectors,” state news agency WAM reported.
The decision linked to the validity of visas and entry permits for expats inside the UAE – starting March 1 to December of 2020 – will be removed, the report added.
The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship will begin charging fees for its services starting July 12.
The Cabinet also approved granting residents outside the UAE and with expired residency visa after March 1 – or those who have passed six months outside the state – a period to return to the UAE from the date of opening the airspace between both countries.
The Cabinet said the current services must be offered through electronic systems to facilitate and limit the crowding of customers.