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New Kuwait Government 'Within Hours'

Kuwait's Emir is expected to appoint an interim government who will tasked with overseeing new elections.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 11/30/2011, 6:07 PM

Sheik al-Sabah
Sheik al-Sabah
White House Photo

Kuwait's outgoing defense minister Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Sabah is expected to replace Sheikh Nasser Al Mohammad as the country's next prime minister.

Shaikh Nasser, under intense pressure from opposition groups who stormed the parliament protesting widespread corruption, tendered his resignation on Monday following an emergency cabinet meeting chaired by Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad.

However, the new government is expected to last less than two months, as a planned parliamentary dissolution is expected in the wake of this week's cabinet resignation.

The new government to be announced by the Emir "within hours or days" will then submit its resignation, citing non-cooperation from the parliament where at least 20 MPs from the ruling party have refused to attend parliamentary committee meetings.

The Emir will then dissolve the parliament utilizing a clause in Kuwait's constitution and call for fresh elections within two months as stipulated in the constitution.

If the elections are not held on time, the dissolved parliament will reconvene and will regain all its powers.

The expected government led by Shaikh Jaber Al Mubarak will be tasked with dealing with urgent matters and with overseeing the new elections.

No major changes to the outgoing government are expected in the new formation.

Kuwait's parliament will not reconvene until a government is formed, its Speaker has said.

"The parliament session is adjourned due to lack of a quorum," Jassem Al Khorafi said as he chaired the regular weekly meeting.

"I will not adjourn it by half an hour as the government will not be represented. I will call for a new session of the parliament only after the government is formed as I do not want to ask lawmakers to come while there are no ministers," he said.

Regional observers note outgoing prime minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad, who the opposition accuses plundering public funds, is not expected to remain out of power for long. Nasser, a nephew of the emir, was appointed to the post in February 2006 and has so far resigned seven times since then due to political turmoil.

Parliament has been dissolved on three occasions over the same period.