Middle East

Kuwait emir accepts government resignation

Re-instated National Assembly Speaker Jassim Al Kharafi speaks to the media after the government declared current parliament void and to bring back the former elected members from the 2009 election in Kuwait June 27, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer (KUWAIT - Tags: POLITICS)

KUWAIT: Kuwait's head of state has accepted the resignation of the government, state news agency KUNA said on Sunday, in a move that could help ease a political crisis after a court ruling effectively dissolved parliament.

The Emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, will now appoint a new cabinet, after which analysts expect a reinstated assembly to be dissolved so that a new parliamentary election can be held, probably after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which starts around July 19.

The court's ruling had effectively dissolved a parliament dominated by opposition Islamists and reinstated its more government-friendly predecessor.

Critics said the move was against the constitution.

"An Emiri decree was issued, accepting the resignation of (the government of) Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah," KUNA said.

Until a new government line-up is agreed, the outgoing cabinet will serve as caretaker, it added.

Kuwait, a major oil producer, has seen eight governments come and go in just six years which hindered economic reforms.

Kuwait has long prided itself on having a fully elected parliament with legislative power and lively debate - unique in a region ruled by autocrats who tolerate little dissent - but the ruling al-Sabah family maintains a firm grip on state affairs.

Key cabinet posts are held by al Sabah family members and the 83-year-old emir, who has the last say in politics, reserves the right to dissolve parliament at will.





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