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Tue 10 May 2011 01:02 PM

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Kuwait cabinet faces tough first day at parliament

Two Kuwaiti lawmakers have submitted a request to question the country's prime minister on Tuesday

Kuwait cabinet faces tough first day at parliament
(Getty Images)

Two
Kuwaiti lawmakers submitted a request to question the country's prime minister
on Tuesday, signalling a fresh challenge for the new government on its first
encounter with the parliament.

The
move comes after several lawmakers walked out from the session on Tuesday, in
protest against the new government, and the prime minister's seventh since
2006.

Ahmad
Al Sadoun, leader of the opposition Popular Action bloc, and liberal lawmaker
Abdulrahman Al Anjari, submitted a request to question the prime minister in
parliament over issues including Kuwaiti telco firm Zain and the country's
four-year KD30bn ($109bn) development plan.

The
OPEC member announced the new government on Sunday, which only saw six new
faces out of its 15 members, after the previous one resigned to avert
questionings of three ministers from the ruling family.

Despite
naming a new oil minister, the government did not include any changes to key
portfolios such as interior, defence, foreign affairs and finance, and was
unlikely to blunt criticism over the slow pace of political and economic
reform.

The
new cabinet is also the seventh for outgoing Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al Mohammed
Al Sabah since his appointment in 2006. The previous cabinet quit in March to
avoid the questioning of three ministers who are all members of the ruling
Al Sabah family.

Kuwait's
parliament, the most outspoken in a region mostly dominated by autocratic
rulers, has triggered numerous cabinet resignations or reshuffles through
questioning.

While
the fierce questioning in parliament serves as an outlet for voicing criticism,
the frequent resignations also effectively prevent much change from happening.

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Ahmad A 9 years ago

The pride of this nation needs to be restored not only for the Kuwait people, but for everyone that lives here who depends on the abilities of this government to perform its proper role in society. It is not about loud rhetoric and expansive actions which make strong leaders – it is thinkers, men of vision, whose humility and inner peace comes from their desire to put the welfare and happiness of their people above all else.

Bill Thompson 9 years ago

Questioning the behaviour of members of Parliament in democratic governments is formative, however, when it hinders the progress of the day it can be destructive to a country's progress. In Kuwait's case, it appears that the constant grilling of MP's is a disturbance to the every day business flow and is preventing the Parliament from passing legislation necessary for this country to move forward. It is also apparent that the Prime Minister is a person of contention, and is a hindrance, not an asset to the process. This country can either dismiss the PM from his position for the sake of this nation, or move the grilling process to a separate forum so it is not disruptive to the parliament's business agenda. In the US questioning of our version of MP's is done in a separate forum by a specially appointed congressional committee. This country is obviously stagnated by the democratic process and an example to all outlining GCC nations to deter this democratic process.