Political Crisis in Kuwait

Kuwait is again expecting elections as the cabinet resigned over a new political crisis brewed in the oil rich emirates recently.The cabinet resigned because of the recent local developments, pointing towards recent Mideast issues such as  Bahrain, and some negative effects on the country’s national unity, security and stability in general.

The government of Kuwait consists of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, whereby the Emir is the head of government. The State of Kuwait (Dawlat al Kuwayt) has been ruled by the al-Sabah dynasty since approximately 1752. The constitution, approved and promulgated on November 11, 1962, calls for direct elections to a unicameral parliament or the National Assembly. Despite the regular holding of relatively free and fair elections to the National Assembly, Kuwait is not a democracy by the usual definition of the term because the prime minister is not responsible to a parliament.

A partial view of a city in Kuwait

Also, the Emir’s powers are defined by the 1961 constitution. These powers include appointing the prime minister, dissolving parliament, promulgating laws, referring bills back to the parliament for reconsideration, and appointing military officers. According to the Kuwaiti Constitution, the Emir’s person is immune and inviolable. Therefore, criticism of him and his actions are not permitted in the national media.

In Kuwait, the Sunni sect has been facing pro-democracy protests a month before by the island’s kingdom Shiite majority. Acording to reports  the recent resignation appears to be an attempt by three Cabinet’s ministers and  members of the ruling Al Sabah family to avoid being questioned over why Kuwait did not contribute troops to the Saudi gulf force that was sent to Bahrain.

 The Kuwaiti cabinet’s resignation coincided with an opposition campaign for the resignation and replacements of the prime minister, Sheik Nasser Al Mohammed Al Sabah , who is the nephew of the ruling Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah.

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