Kuwait Govt May Resign amid Dispute with Parliament

Kuwait Govt May Resign amid Dispute with Parliament

The Kuwaiti government is on the verge of resigning after several MPs submitted an “urgent” request to debrief Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah.

The government swore less than a month ago after parliamentary elections; which introduced massive change to the 50-member National Assembly with the election of 31 first-time MPs. The cabinet includes 10 new figures out of 16 ministers.

The debriefing is based on three factors or “accusations” against the premier. The first addressed the “flagrant violation of the constitution when forming the government as it included divisive figures.” It explained that the cabinet lineup did not take into consideration the formation of the new National Assembly, now dominated by opposition MPs.

The second point also addressed the “hegemony of the executive authority” over the National Assembly. This is through the government’s support of Speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim; reelected his position even though 28 lawmakers voted in favor of another candidate. It also slammed the government’s blatant interference in the formation of parliamentary committees.

The third factor tackled the government’s stalling in presenting its ministerial program, “in violation of the constitution” that stipulates that it be presented as soon as it is formed.

Kuwait political analyst Dr. Ayed al-Manna said a record 38 MPs agreed to debrief the government, which makes its resignation only a matter of time.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, he said that if the National Assembly and government were to insist on their positions, then the Emir would have to intervene.

Two constitutional options

He would have two constitutional options: Ask the prime minister to resign or dissolve the parliament, explained Manna; predicting that he will likely opt for the first choice because holding the parliamentary elections in short time.

Constitutionally, lawmakers do not have the right to withdraw confidence from the prime minister; but they can submit a memo of non-cooperation after the debriefing is complete, he went on to say. So far, the MPs have shown that they will not cooperate with Sheikh Sabah even before holding the grilling.

This is where Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Sabah should step in; by either removing the PM or dissolving the legislature, said Manna.

He added that the National Assembly will cooperate with any new figure; designated as premier should Sheikh Sabah step down.

Moreover, he believed that the lawmakers driven by their resentment that a speaker; who did not enjoy the majority vote, appointed to the post.