The move comes days after lawmakers introduced a motion asking to question the prime minister on issues such as cabinet makeup.
The Kuwaiti cabinet resigned to Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah, just a month after the government was formed and just days after lawmakers introduced a motion asking to question the prime minister on issues such as the composition of the cabinet.
The resignation on Tuesday of the cabinet – formed on December 14 – was expected after Parliament’s decision earlier this month that posed the new emir’s first political challenge as the country faces its worst economic crisis in decades.
The prime minister was to be questioned during a parliamentary session on January 19.
Sheikh Sabah must submit the resignations to the leader of the OPEC member state, Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed al-Sabah, for approval, three major Kuwaiti newspapers reporting that he was supposed to do so.
Kuwait’s Government Communications Office (CGC) said the government had tendered its resignation “in light of the evolution of relations between the National Assembly and the government, and what the national interest might justify”, but no did not specify.
His Highness Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister, received today at the Seif Palace His Excellency the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah and their Excellencies the ministers.#CGCKuwait pic.twitter.com/80sk8iM1wF
– Government Communication Center (@CGCKuwait) January 12, 2021
Translation: Today, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister, received at the Seif Palace His Excellency the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah… where he raised to His Highness the resignation of all members of the cabinet.
The motion to question Sheikh Sabah, who has served as prime minister since late 2019, was introduced by three lawmakers on January 5 in the first ordinary session of a new assembly in which the opposition made gains after the two-thirds of lawmakers lost seats in legislative polls. Last year.
More than 30 other MPs backed the request to question him on issues such as forming a cabinet “not reflecting” poll results and allegations of government “interference” in the election of the president and members of parliamentary committees, according to the motion seen by the Reuters news agency.
Kuwait has the most open political system in the Gulf region, with a parliament wielding the power to legislate and question ministers, although important positions are held by ruling family members.
Frequent quarrels and deadlocks between Cabinet and Parliament have led to successive government reshuffles and parliamentary dissolutions, hampering investment and economic and fiscal reform.
The latest standoff is complicating the government’s efforts to tackle a severe liquidity crisis caused by low oil prices and COVID-19 by passing a debt law that faces a legislative deadlock.
The emir has the last word in matters of state and the succession of Sheikh Nawaf last September following the death of his brother had raised the hope of a relaxation between the family in power and his detractors in parliament.