Kuwaiti ministers resign amid reshuffle reports

Kuwaiti cabinet ministers have submitted their resignations to the prime minister, a parliament speaker said Monday

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Kuwait’s cabinet ministers submitted their resignations on Monday to the prime minister, the parliament speaker said, a move that could pave the way for a cabinet reshuffle.

Parliament speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim said he had received “a formal letter from the government that it will not attend Tuesday’s parliament session and that the ministers have resigned,” state news agency KUNA reported.

“I have received an official letter from the government that all ministers have submitted their resignations to the prime minister,” Marzouk al-Ghanem told reporters outside parliament.

The speaker said the government had also informed him it would not attend a parliament session scheduled for Tuesday, and that the session had been called off.

Kuwaiti media reported last week that Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah, a senior member of the ruling family, was preparing for a major cabinet reshuffle.

“I hope for the sake of Kuwait that the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah will succeed in reshuffling the government,” al-Ghanim told the news conference.

The 16-member cabinet was formed in early August following a snap parliamentary poll called after the constitutional court nullified a previous election and scrapped parliament on the grounds of procedural flaws.

Since early 2006, the oil-rich Gulf state has seen ongoing political crises that resulted in the resignation of a dozen cabinets and saw parliament dissolved on six occasions.

Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy and has the oldest directly-elected parliament among the Arab Gulf states, first elected in 1963.

Meanwhile, the constitutional court of Kuwait on Monday rejected two petitions demanding that July parliamentary polls be nullified and the house dissolved because of procedural flaws.

“The court rejects the petitions,” said judge Yussef al-Mutawa, head of the constitutional court, in a brief hearing.

He did not explain the legal grounds for rejecting the two petitions. Details of the judgment are expected to be released later.

(With AFP and Reuters)