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.


Polls open in Algeria vote bitterly opposed by protesters

Updated 12 December 2019

Polls open in Algeria vote bitterly opposed by protesters

  • All 61,000 polling stations around the North African country opened as planned
  • No opinion polls have been published but observers expect an extremely low turnout nationwide

ALGIERS: Polls opened in Algeria on Thursday in a presidential election bitterly opposed by a protest movement that sees it as a regime ploy to cling on to power.
All 61,000 polling stations around the North African country opened as planned at 8 am (0700 GMT), the official APS news agency said.
No opinion polls have been published but observers expect an extremely low turnout nationwide after months of demonstrations opposing the vote.
Five candidates are in the running, all of them widely rejected as “children of the regime” of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, whom people power ousted in April after two decades in office.