Govt expected to resign today

KUWAIT: Although there has been no official word, the government is highly expected to submit its resignation today and forming a new Cabinet could take longer than anticipated. The move comes after 10 lawmakers last week filed a no-confidence motion against Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and acting information minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah following a marathon grilling over alleged financial and administrative violations, which he strongly denied.

It was earlier reported that a number of Cabinet ministers have offered to resign following the grilling. These ministers included Cabinet members who are threatened by grillings, like the oil minister. Some sources however expect that the government may not resign and instead Sheikh Mohammad will quit his post. The reason for this is that a large number of lawmakers have already declared their support of the no-confidence motion, which means that the minister could be voted out of office. Under these circumstances, normally the government prefers that the concerned minister quits rather than being voted out of office by the National Assembly.

Parliamentary sources pointed out that if the government resigns, Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah will be asked to form a new Cabinet and this process could take around three weeks, and maybe more. There is no legal period for forming a Cabinet following its resignation. What is certain in the new standoff between the Assembly and the government is that the Cabinet will not attend the Assembly’s regular session tomorrow, according to statements by Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem, who declined to say if the government will quit.

Pro-government MP Ahmad Al-Fadhl said he was unaware of the nature of the reported government resignation and whether only a small number of ministers will quit or the entire Cabinet, including the prime minister.

MP Safa Al-Hashem described the political atmosphere as “overcast” and cloudy with expected rain. She said we are normally pleased by rain “except this time”, a clear reference to the expected government resignation. She criticized the government for “wasting the future of Kuwait and development” by “tactics and plots that are not good for this era”. The lawmaker also wondered if the government’s intention is to make people become fed up and bored with the democratic system. Opposition MP Osama Al-Shaheen said the no-confidence motion will probably lead to a better government lineup.

Meanwhile, MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei yesterday threatened action against the Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan and State Minister for Housing Yasser Abul. He said Roudhan, who is also state minister for sports, did not fulfill his promises to lift sports sanctions on Kuwait. The lawmaker called on Roudhan to quit immediately. He also threatened Abul over a contract of housing and defense ministries, which he described as a “scandal”. It is suspected to involve corruption to the tune of KD 219 million.

By B Izzak


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