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Kuwait’s government resigns amid friction with parliament

A view shows a parliament session held in Kuwait City, Kuwait, on December 15, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

The Kuwaiti government, headed by Ahmad Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, has submitted its resignation amid a dispute with the parliament.

Kuwaiti newspaper al-Qabas said the government resigned on Monday as it refused to make any commitments to the National Assembly regarding ‘populist laws.’ Lawmakers say those ‘laws’ would improve the standard of living of Kuwaiti citizens. They say there would be a debt relief bill under which the state would buy Kuwaiti citizens’ personal loans.

The resignation was also attributed to the interpellation of Minister of Finance Abdul Wahhab al-Rashid and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Barak al-Shaitan scheduled for the parliament's Tuesday session.

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

It is the fifth time a collective government resigns in Kuwait over the past two years.

Members of the al-Sabah ruling family retain full control over key government and executive posts. They have been in power for the past 250 years.

Under the Kuwaiti constitution, the emir has the final say in state matters and can dissolve the parliament at the recommendation of the government.

The prime minister traditionally helps navigate the often tense relationship between the government and parliament in Kuwait.

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