Dubai: Kuwait Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak has submitted the resignation of his government to Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah on Thursday, according to Kuwait News agency KUNA.
Resignation was submitted to clear the way for "rearranging the cabinet work" spokesman for the government Tareq Al Mezrem said without details.
The resignation comes amid a series of grilling requests for members of the government in parliament.
On Tuesday Kuwait’s Minister of Public Work and Minister of State for Housing Jenan Ramadan announced her resignation during the National Assembly after 10 MPs filed a no-confidence motion against her.
The Minister announced her resignation in a speech at the end of a questioning “I announce my resignation, regrettably, companies and influential people are stronger than the right.”
The Minister of Public Works was being questioned by MPs after her ministry failed to address obstacles and basic infrastructure problems despite its 2019-20 plan that included major projects aimed at transforming the country into a global financial center.
The Ministry also failed to disclose the dates of commencement of major projects and provide an estimate of when the projects will finish.
Weeks of tension
The resignation of the government capped weeks of tensions between the parliament and the government, which are not uncommon in the country.
Several lawmakers have recently tabled no-confidence motions against some ministers in the government led by Shaikh Mubarak Jaber Al Sabah.
Aside from Bushheri, 10 opposition lawmakers filed a no-confidence motion against Interior Minister Shaikh Al Jarrah Al Sabah over purported violations.
That vote was scheduled for November 20.
Thursday’s resignation is obviously aimed at heading off the no-confidence votes on the embattled ministers.
Emir Sabah is expected to accept the resignation and task the incumbent prime minister with forming a new government.
Several MPs welcomed the resignation of the government and pushed for the dissolution of the parliament, which is a constitutional right for the Emir.
“The government’s departure is imperative,” said MP Abdul Wahab Al Babteen.
“More important still is to dissolve the National Assembly and call early elections through which Kuwaitis can choose their representatives,” he told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai.
Shortly after the government tendered its resignation, head of the parliament Marzouq Al Ghanem said the Emir had informed him that he has no intention to dissolve the assembly.
Kuwait’s next legislative polls are due next year.
“We look forward to a new course of action that will fulfill the Kuwaitis’ aspirations, seriously address corruption and stop inter-government disagreements,” MP Abdullah Al Kandari said.
In recent weeks, several lawmakers have accused the government of failing to tackle corruption and lacking in harmony.
The government’s resignation also came more than a week after a sit-in protest outside the parliament against perceived unwillingness to fight corruption and the long-standing problem of stateless community in Kuwait.
The number of the stateless minority in Kuwait, commonly known as the Bidoun, is estimated at around 100,000. The problem, affecting citizenship rights, has been there since Kuwait’s independence in 1961.
Days before the November 6 sit-in, two Bidouns committed suicide reportedly in despair over their social status.
History of resignations
Kuwait has a history of governments’ resignations over feuds with the parliament.
In 2001, the then government stepped down over a no-confidence motion against the justice minister. Six years later, the government did the same after a parliamentary inquiry with health minister.
In 2008, the government resigned after two lawmakers filed a grilling request against the then prime minister Nassir Al Mohammad Al Sabah, a member of the royal family.
2011 was an unforgettable year in Kuwait’s political turmoil fuelled by the so-called “Arab Spring revolts”.
That year, dozens of opposition activists, including lawmakers, stormed the parliament to demand reinstated prime minister Nassir over alleged corruption.
The government resigned in response. The Emir denounced the storming of the assembly and called it “Black Wednesday”. He also issued a royal decree dissolving the parliament, elected in 2009, and calling for an early election.
In July last year, Kuwait’s top appeals court sentenced eight incumbent and ex-lawmakers to 3 years and half each in connection to the storming of the parliament.