Dubai: Prominent Kuwaiti opposition figure and eight times MP Abdullah Al Nibari passed away on Sunday, two weeks after the death of his lifelong friend, the opposition leader Ahmed Al Khatib.
The sudden death of Al Nibari was announced during a memorial for Al Khatib, who passed away on March 7 at his home in Kuwait city.
Born in 1936, Al Nibari began his political life when he was elected to the parliament in 1971 as a member of the leftist Arab Nationalist block. He went on to be reelected eight times, the last of which was in 2003 when, like his friend Al Khatib, he decided to retire.
He was educated in Egypt and UK with degrees in Economics from the American University in Cairo in 1961 and Oxford in 1963. He worked for the central bank and the state’s oil company before quitting the government job to contest the 1971 elections and become a vocal opposition member, leading anti-corruption campaigns.
During those years, he established the Kuwaiti Society to Defend the Public Funds, an anti-corruption platform where several high-profile investigations into corruption in the government and private sector were initiated.
It is believed his work in fighting corruption was the reason for the June 1997 attempt on his life by four gunmen as he and his wife drove back home from their beach house. He was badly injured and was forced to a wheel chair for most of his later years. His wife was also hit by a bullet but recovered later.
The four shooters were tried and sentenced to life in prison for the assassination attempt.
Al Nibari was the last living founding member of Kuwait’s leftist Al Minabr Al Democrati, successor to the Arab Nationalist Movement. His death puts in question the future of the struggling party, which failed to secure any seat in the last election in 2020.