Kuwait's emir suspends parliament for one month

AFP , Monday 18 Jun 2012

Kuwait's government prompts its Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to use his constitutional right to suspend parliament for one month following frequent grilling by opposition MPs

A general view of the Kuwaiti Parliament is seen as Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah opens the fourth session of the 13th legislative term of parliament as it reconvenes after the summer break in Kuwait City in this October 25, 2011 file photo, (Photo: Reuters).

Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah issued a decree on Monday to suspend parliament sessions for one month in an apparent bid to defuse tensions between the government and MPs.

The decision was based on an article in the constitution that allows the ruler to suspend parliamentary meetings for a maximum of one month, state-run Kuwait television said.

Earlier on Monday, the cabinet approved a draft decree recommending to the emir to enforce the suspension.

Tensions have increased between the opposition-controlled parliament, elected just over four months ago, and the government controlled by the Al-Sabah ruling family.

Opposition MPs have repeatedly accused some members of the government of wide-ranging irregularities, forcing two cabinet ministers to quit since the opposition scored an impressive victory in the February snap polls.

Finance Minister Mustafa al-Shamali resigned last month following a marathon grilling in parliament by opposition lawmakers who accused him of squandering public funds and committing irregularities.

And minister of social affairs and labour Ahmad al-Rujaib quit his post last week after MPs filed to quiz him over allegations of irregularities.

The emirate has been rocked by a series of political crises since 2006 during which eight governments resigned and parliament was dissolved on four occasions.

Unprecedented youth-led street protests last year forced former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to resign in November. Parliament was dissolved a week later and snap polls held on February 2.

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