Kuwait govt resigns after corruption charges

The oil-producing state has tolerated criticism of its government to a degree rare among its Gulf neighbours, helping to insulate it from the protest-driven political tumult that has helped topple four Arab leaders this year.

But tensions rose sharply this month when opposition lawmakers and protesters stormed parliament to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah. “We decided to submit our resignation to comply with the national interest and due to the danger the situation had reached,” the state television channel cited Sheikh Nasser as saying.

The storming of parliament followed a request filed by a group of MPs to question Sheikh Nasser, which was blocked by the cabinet in a move decried as unconstitutional by the opposition.

Opposition MPs warned that if Sheikh Nasser did not step up to the questioning stand on Nov. 29, they would escalate their campaign against him.

Kuwait has been locked in a long-running political battle between the government dominated by the ruling Al Sabah family and the 50-member elected parliament.

Black day

The emir, who appoints all but one member of Kuwait’s government including the prime minister, accepted the government’s resignation, state news agency KUNA reported.
Last week the emir had said he would not allow his PM to resign or dissolve the elected parliament, denouncing as a “black day” the storming of the assembly. At least 45 people were arrested over the incident. Earlier on Monday, parliamentary sources said if the resignation were accepted, it could take up to three months to form a new government.

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