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Kuwait Commerce Minister Resigns, Second Cabinet Member This Month

Kuwait Commerce Minister Resigns, Second Cabinet Member This Month

Local media said the resignation came as a member of parliament had demanded to question the minister for allegedly failing to protect the rights of small shareholders.

Kuwait’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdulmohsen al-Madaj resigned on Wednesday, becoming the second cabinet minister to quit this month after facing public criticism.

The emir of Kuwait accepted the resignation of Madaj, who was also a deputy prime minister, state news agency KUNA said in a brief report. Madaj could not be contacted for comment.

KUNA did not give a reason for Madaj quitting, but local media said a member of parliament had demanded to question the minister in parliament for allegedly failing to protect the rights of small shareholders.

Last week, Water and Electricity Minister Abdulaziz al-Ibrahim resigned after a major power cut in the Gulf state.

Kuwait’s parliament, one of the most independent in the Gulf, has had a tense relationship with the cabinet, and several senior economic policymakers have resigned under pressure from members of parliament over the past few years.

Madaj said last week that authorities were cooperating with the International Monetary Fund to discuss introducing a corporate tax for local companies, a politically sensitive step that could help the government diversify its income beyond oil and ride out the current period of low oil prices. It was not immediately clear if his resignation would affect that reform.

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