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.


Court testimony claims Turkish general killed after discovering Qatar extremist funding

Updated 04 August 2020

Court testimony claims Turkish general killed after discovering Qatar extremist funding

  • Explosive courtroom transcript says Brig. Gen. Semih Terzi was killed because he knew too much about Turkish general's murky dealings in Syria
  • Turkish officials accused of embezzling money sent from Qatar to arm Syrian militants

LONDON: A Turkish general killed during a failed coup was executed after he found out Qatar was funneling money to extremist groups in Syria through Turkey, according to explosive courtroom claims.

Brig. Gen. Semih Terzi was shot dead in July 2016 during an attempt by some military officers to overthrow the government of Recip Tayyip Erdogan. The alleged plotters were accused of being followers of the exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen.

According to a courtroom transcript obtained by the anti-Erdogan Nordic Monitor website, Terzi’s killing was ordered by Lt. Gen. Zekai Aksakalli, the then head of Turkey’s Special Forces Command.

The website claims the testimony came from Col. Firat Alakus, who worked in the intelligence section of the Special Forces Command, during a hearing at the 17th High Criminal Court in Ankara in March, 2019.

Alakus said Terzi had discovered that Aksakalli was working secretly with the Turkish intelligence agency (MIT) in running illegal operations in Syria for personal gain.

“[Terzi] knew how much of the funding delivered [to Turkey] by Qatar for the purpose of purchasing weapons and ammunition for the opposition was actually used for that and how much of it was actually used by public officials, how much was embezzled,” Alakus said. 

He added that Terzi’s knowledge of Aksakalli’s murky dealings was the real reason Aksakalli ordered his execution.

Terzi was killed after Aksakalli ordered him back to Ankara from a border province as the failed coup attempt unfolded, Alakus said.

Other accounts say Terzi was one of the main coup plotters and was killed leading an attempt to capture the special forces headquarters in the capital.

Along with the Qatari claim, Alakus said Terzi also knew the details of Turkey’s involvement in oil smuggling from Syria and how government officials aided extremist militant commanders.

He also objected to Turkish intelligence supplying weapons and training to extremist Syrian factions who were passed off as moderate opposition fighters.

“[Terzi’s murder] had to do with a trap devised by Zekai Aksakalli, who did not want such facts to come out into the open,” Alakus said.

Alakus was jailed for life in June 2019 after being convicted for taking part in the coup.