Kuwait’s cabinet resigns in a bid to end the country’s political impasse

Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah accepted the resignation of the government on Monday, less than a year after taking office.

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Kuwait’s cabinet resigned on Monday, less than a year after taking office, in an effort to overcome a political impasse that has stalled budgetary reforms.

Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah accepted the resignation, according to the state-run KUNA news agency. After numerous rounds of discussions between feuding government officials and opposition MPs, the action was expected.

The resigning government is the third administration to quit in a year, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah. Khalifa Hamada, the Finance Minister who resigned in August, is largely likely to be replaced. Hamada was appointed last January, making him the fifth person to occupy the position in less than seven years.

The energy-rich Gulf country, which holds about 6 percent of the world’s oil reserves and is the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC)  fifth-largest producer, posted a record budget deficit in the previous fiscal year, owing to a cash crisis exacerbated by a drop in oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the Emir’s appeal for a national dialogue, the cabinet authorized draft decrees pardoning a number of Kuwaitis on Monday. Former opposition politicians and activists who have been exiled in Turkey are anticipated to benefit from the amnesty.

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