Kuwaiti government resigns to end deadlock, dissidents pardoned

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Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah. AFP
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  • Several opposition MPs have demanded to question the premier on a variety of issues but a motion passed in March had given him immunity from questioning until the end of 2022
  • The feud has paralyzed legislative work and made it harder to boost state finances and enact measures like the debt law needed to tap global markets

Kuwait’s government resigned for the second time this year to the ruling emir on Monday, a move that could help end a standoff with opposition lawmakers that has halted fiscal reform. Kuwait has also passed an amnesty pardoning political dissidents, Reuters reported on Monday. 

Kuwait’s ruler Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah has received the government’s resignation notice, the state news agency KUNA reported. The report did not mention whether Sheikh Nawaf would accept the resignation, which was offered by the country’s Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah.

The government previously resigned in January. In an effort to resolve the deadlock in the government, Sheikh Nawaf granted amnesty to opposition politicians on Sunday.

Several opposition MPs have demanded to question the premier on a variety of issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic and corruption, but a motion passed in March had given him immunity from questioning until the end of 2022.

The feud has paralyzed legislative work and made it harder to boost state finances and enact measures like the debt law needed to tap global markets.

For decades, the political deadlock has resulted in government reshuffles and dissolutions of parliament, limiting investment and reform.

The government began a dialogue with MPs in order to break the impasse, with the opposition demanding an amnesty pardoning dissidents and the right to question Sheikh Sabah, who has been premier since late 2019.

Parliament Speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim on Monday announced that two emiri decrees had been issued for the amnesty, after cabinet approved the drafts on Sunday, saying this presented “a new page” for Kuwait to focus on “important pending matters.”

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