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Kuwait’s govt. resigns amid political dispute with parliament

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid Al Sabah (Photo by Reuters)

Kuwait’s government has resigned amid a political dispute with the parliament that has reportedly delayed implementation of fiscal reforms in the country.

Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid Al Sabah submitted the letter of resignation to Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad Al Sabah on Tuesday, the official Kuwait News Agency reported.

The country has witnessed dissolution of successive cabinets and legislatures over the past decade due to political standoff between governments dominated by the ruling Al Sabah family and lawmakers.

Last time, the standoff saw the country's interior and defense ministers resign in protest over the manner of parliamentary questioning of other ministers, and the parliament question Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nasser al-Mohammed Al Sabah over corruption claims and alleged misuse of public funds.

As part of the latest episode of the dispute, the parliament is expected to question Prime Minister Sabah Khaled Al Sabah, accusing him of "unconstitutional" practices, including corruption.

The country's last government was sworn in December, the fourth in two years, after the previous one resigned in November.

Kuwait has given its parliament more influence than similar bodies in other Persian Gulf states, including the power to pass and block laws, question ministers, and submit no-confidence motions against senior government officials.

Fitch Ratings downgraded the country in January to 'AA-' from 'AA', citing "ongoing political constraints" hindering its ability to pass a debt law and address a heavy reliance on oil, a lavish welfare system, and a bloated public sector.

 


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