Kuwait: Govt Resigns After Dispute With Parliament

Kuwait's government resigned on Monday, just three months after it was sworn in, over continuing political discord between the cabinet and Kuwait's parliament.

Kuwait: Govt Resigns After Dispute With Parliament
Image credit: AP [via Al Jazeera]

Facts

  • Kuwait's government resigned on Monday, just three months after it was sworn in, over continuing political discord between the cabinet and Kuwait's parliament.
  • State media reported that Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf al-Sabah submitted the resignation of his cabinet to the country's Crown Prince due to political bickering over various issues with the legislative authority. The oil-producing Gulf country had been attempting ambitious structural reforms to strengthen its finances, but faced legislative gridlock.
  • The development halted the Kuwait National Assembly's plans to question two ministers over the management of state finances, which had been scheduled for Tuesday. It also stopped lawmakers from pressing the government to approve a debt relief bill that would have allowed the state to buy Kuwaiti citizens' personal loans.
  • Sheikh Ahmad's cabinet had argued that granting a debt amnesty to Kuwaiti citizens come at too high a cost to the state, but MP Saleh Ashour called their resignation over the matter a "retreat in the face of political problems."
  • Kuwait is heavily dependent on oil revenues for the funding of it expansive welfare system — its public sector employs around 80% of its citizens. Kuwaitis make up less than a third of the country's population of 4.6M people.
  • The outgoing cabinet — the sixth in three years — is the third to be formed by Sheikh Ahmed since he took the helm of the government in August 2022.

Sources: The News, Al Jazeera, RFI, France24, and Reuters.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by Arab Times Online. Kuwait, a rich oil-producing Gulf country, finds itself consumed by corruption and political infighting. Its democracy continues to be torn apart by disagreements motivated by personal interests, and its slow economic growth due to administrative corruption has shaken international investors' confidence. As long as its lawmakers continue arguing with each other, and its citizens remain spectators to the legislative process, the state will fail to transform into a global financial and commercial hub.
  • Narrative B, as provided by New Arab. Kuwait is divided between being a democratic system that grants sovereignty and a traditional monarchical system that gives broad powers to the Emir. A significant amount of ruling power still effectively remains in Kuwait's royal family and sits with the Emir who appoints the government. Until the elected and appointed components of Kuwait's political system work together against this autocratic influence, standoffs will continue to undermine democracy in the nation.

Narratives