Kuwait cabinet resigns as parliament moves to oust premier
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Kuwait cabinet resigns as parliament moves to oust premier

Kuwait cabinet resigns as parliament moves to oust premier

The prime minister had submitted his resignation letter to the country’s ruler

Kuwait

Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah has resigned to avert a new push by opposition lawmakers to remove him from office, deepening a long-running political standoff that’s held back the economy.

The premier, first appointed in December 2019, was questioned in parliament last week, with a vote of non-cooperation to follow on Wednesday. Opposition lawmakers, who have repeatedly pushed for Sheikh Sabah’s ouster, looked set to have the required support to force him out.

The prime minister had submitted his resignation letter to the country’s ruler, the state-run KUNA news agency said.

Sheikh Sabah has led four governments in little more than two years. The current lineup has been in office for little more than three months.

Kuwaitis had expected a national dialog held last year with members of the loosely aligned political opposition to help overcome years of tensions between a parliament that is elected and a prime minister who is named by the ruling Al Sabah family.

The political standoff has delayed the passage of laws, including a bill that would allow the government to borrow or dip into its sovereign wealth fund in times of need.

Home to about 8.5 per cent of the world’s oil reserves, Kuwait posted a record deficit in the 2020/21 fiscal year as a cash crisis exacerbated by the pandemic and plunge in oil prices left the government scrambling to pay state salaries.

The recovery in crude prices has since relieved pressure on the treasury.

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