Kuwait\'s Emir Trying to Curb Power Struggle after Cabinet Resignation
Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah held talks Monday with the prime minister and foreign minister to unravel a developing power struggle after he accepted the cabinet's resignation, reported AFP.
Sheikh Jaber, who enjoys extensive constitutional powers and great respect in the oil-rich emirate, met separately with Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah and Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the official KUNA news agency said without elaborating.
The emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah accepted the resignation of the Kuwaiti government on Monday evening, but denied any link between the resignation and a request submitted by an opposition MP Saturday to grill Justice Minister Saad al-Hashel over irregularities, said the agency.
"It is natural that (our) affairs need a revision, and the government situation should be dealt with in order to be able to tackle more effectively the situation of the country," Sheikh Sabah stressed in a statement to Al Ra’i Al Aam.
But three other senior ministers, all members of the ruling Al-Sabah family, told Al-Watan paper they knew nothing of any resignation, said AFP.
"Nothing has happened and everything is normal. There is no cabinet reshuffle," said Defense Minister Salem al-Sabah.
Parliament speaker Jassem al-Khorafi announced that the Kuwaiti government had resigned on Sunday following a long-running battle with parliament.
The liberal Al-Qabas paper quoted unnamed sources as saying the reason for the resignation was "the inability of leading personalities in the ruling establishment and the government to agree over delegated responsibilities."
The outgoing government, formed on July 13, 1999, is the 19th government since Kuwait’s independence and the tenth government that has been headed by Sheikh Saad.
According to KUNA, the cabinet included nine ministers who took part for the first time in the cabinet, Ahmed Abdullah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, minister of finance and minister of communications, Saad Jassem al-Hashel, minister of justice, Saad Mohammed al-Ajmi, minister of information and Sulaiman Majed al-Shaheen, minister of state for foreign affairs.
The others are: Abdul Wahab Mohammad al-Wazzan, minister of commerce and industry and minister of social affairs and labor, Eid Hathal al-Rashidi, minister of public works, Mohammed al-Duwaihis, minister of planning and state minister for administrative development affairs, Mohammed Ahmed al-Jarallah, minister of health and dr. Yousef Hamad al-Ibrahim, minister of education and higher education.
Meanwhile, four ministers maintained retained their previous posts, Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, first deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, Salem Sabah al-Salem, deputy prime minister and minister of defense, Saud Naser al-Sabah, minister of oil and sheikh Mohammad Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah, minister of the interior.
Adel al-Subeih was the minister of health in the former cabinet and was appointed as minister of electricity and water and minister of Awqaf and Islamic affairs and minister of state for housing affairs in the 19th cabinet, said the Kuwaiti agency.
A new post was given to Mohammed Dheifallah Sharar, who is deputy prime minister and state minister for cabinet affairs and state minister for national assembly affairs.
Eid Hathal al-Rashidi, minister of public works, is considered the only parliament member who was in charge of a ministerial post in the resigning government.
A number of academics and experts formed part of the outgoing cabinet and the number of ministers with PhD degrees reached six. Two resignations were tendered during the 19th cabinet term, the first being that of Saud Nasser al-Sabah, minister of oil, on June 26 after he took responsibility for the Ahmadi refinery incident which killed five people and wounded 49 others.
The second resignation was tendered by Saad Mohammad al-Ajmi, minister of information, on October 18th, 2000.
Sheikh Saud al-Nasser, the minister of oil, was assigned to carry out the duties of the minister of information until a new minister was appointed.
The resigning government was subject to harsh criticism by the MPs.
On November 20, 2000, the parliament discussed the 15th grilling in the life of the Kuwaiti parliament which was directed against Adel al-Subeih, minister of electricity and water and minister of Awqaf and Islamic affairs and minister of state for housing affairs.
Al-Subeih survived a no-confidence vote on December 4, with 26 votes against 19 in his favor and three abstentions.
On January 27, 2001, parliament member Sayyed Hussein al-Gallaf lodged a censure motion with the parliament's secretariat against al-Hashel.
The criticisms cover four main topics, the first being "weak supervision and control, low performance, failure to face the public prosecutor, and bad application of the law.
The second part criticizes "negligence, lack of seriousness in chasing and prosecuting those accused for meddling with public funds and referring them to the court.”
The third part focuses on "weakness and negligence in facing corruption within the justice palace's departments."
The fourth part is related to "injustice against judge Sulaiman Marzouk al-Tuhaih – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)