Kuwait emir asks outgoing premier to form cabinet

AFP , Thursday 5 Jul 2012

Kuwait's emir asks the outgoing PM Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah to form a new cabinet

Sheikh Jaber Mubarak al-Sabah
Sheikh Jaber Mubarak al-Sabah (Photo: AFP)


The ruler of the Gulf state of Kuwait on Thursday asked outgoing Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah to form a new cabinet, the official KUNA news agency reported citing a decree.

Sheikh Jaber, a senior member of the ruling Al-Sabah family, resigned last week days after the constitutional court nullified February legislative polls, scrapping the opposition-controlled parliament.

The court also reinstated the previous pro-government parliament which was dissolved last December following youth-led protests over allegations of two major corruption scandals involving former MPs and officials.

The unprecedented court ruling sparked protests by thousands of Kuwaitis who called for a constitutional monarchy and a full parliamentary system.

The new cabinet is expected to recommend to Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to dissolve the reinstated parliament and call for fresh polls in an attempt to resolve the political crisis.

The outgoing cabinet was formed just over four months ago after February's parliamentary election, which saw the Islamist-led opposition score an impressive victory and secure a majority.

It was the ninth cabinet to resign in Kuwait since February 2006. Two of the cabinet's 16 ministers had been forced to quit under pressure from MPs, while a third minister resigned.

Sheikh Jaber, 69, had replaced Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, another senior member of the ruling family, who stepped down in November following street protests over corruption allegations.

Kuwait, OPEC's fourth largest crude producer, has been rocked by a series of political crises over the past six years, which have seen nine cabinets resign and parliament dissolved five times.

The emirate, which says it sits on around 10 percent of global oil reserves, pumps around three million barrels per day of oil. It has a native population of 1.2 million in addition to 2.5 million foreign residents.

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