Kuwaiti PM faces non-cooperation vote

Reuters/Stephanie McGehee

Ten Kuwaiti opposition MPs on Tuesday filed a motion of non-cooperation with Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah in a bid to oust him from office. The motion was filed following an eight-hour questioning of the prime minister over allegations of breaching the constitution and suppressing freedoms.


It came after security forces used batons to beat MPs and citizens at a public rally on 8 December, injuring at least four lawmakers and a dozen people.

Opposition MPs also claim the government was planning to amend the constitution to cut public freedoms.

Voting on the motion will take place on 5 January. It requires the support of 25 elected MPs. Cabinet ministers are banned from voting on such issues.

If passed, it will be referred to the ruler of the Gulf state who will either sack the prime minister or dissolve parliament and call elections.

The request to question the prime minister was filed by MPs Mussallam al-Barrak, Jamaan al-Harbash and Saleh al-Mulla who represent opposition liberal, Islamist and nationalist groups and are backed by at least 17 other deputies.

Hundreds of police and special forces controlled all roads leading to the parliament building in Kuwait City during Tuesday's session.

Opposition MPs said the measures violated the constitution, which forbids any forces from coming close to parliament without the speaker's permission.

About 700 Kuwaitis gathered outside parliament in support of the opposition.

In December last year, Sheikh Nasser was questioned over corruption charges and survived a non-cooperation vote.

In the last five years, Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, has had to dissolve parliament three times, while the cabinet has resigned five times.

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