Kuwait: Emir Accepts Government's Resignation

Kuwaiti leader Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah accepted on Monday the resignation of the 15-member governing cabinet led by Prime Minister Jaber Mubarak al-Hamad al-Sabah. The cabinet, which had been in place since snap elections in November 2016, will continue running the country, a close US ally, in a caretaker capacity before a new cabinet is appointed.

Government ministers did not give a reason for their resignation. But the submission came after 10 opposition lawmakers had filed a vote of no confidence against the country's minister for cabinet affairs, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. They accuse the minister, who is also a member of the powerful Kuwaiti royal family, of having committed financial and administrative irregularities. Abdullah has denied the accusations.

Resignations and instability

The small oil-rich country nestled between Iraq and Saudi Arabia has one of the most influential parliaments in the Middle East and regularly holds broadly free elections. But the ruling al-Sabah family continues to have a strong influence over the country's government and the emir still formally appoints government ministers.

Recently, several ministers have used resignation as a means of avoiding parliamentary oversight into their work. In last year's elections, the opposition won nearly half of the 50-seat house seats but was unable to beat pro-government lawmakers loyal to Prime Minister al-Sabah, who has been in power since 2011. The country has held four parliamentary elections since 2012 as low oil prices have hurt Kuwait's oil and gas-dependent economy and undermined government stability.


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