Kuwait government resigns for the second time this year
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Kuwait’s government resigned Monday for the second time this year, underscoring the political problems plaguing the small, oil-rich nation.
The state-run KUNA news agency said Kuwait’s ruler, Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, received the government’s resignation notice. However, the report did not say whether Sheikh Nawaf would accept the resignation, tendered by the country’s prime minister, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah.
The government previously resigned in January. On Sunday, Sheikh Nawaf granted an amnesty to opposition political members in part to resolve the ongoing deadlock in the country’s government.
Kuwait, an extraordinarily wealthy nation due to its oil reserves, has struggled in recent years to balance its budgets and encourage its population into the private sector. Its cradle-to-grave social benefits have drained coffers, challenging the nation during a recent slump in oil prices.
Kuwait’s unusual combination of an emir-appointed government and elected parliament frequently gives rise to wrangling that analysts say impedes the country’s economic and social progress. The parliament can introduce legislation and question ministers, though the country’s emir retains ultimate authority and ruling family members hold senior posts.
Last year, the ratings agency Moody’s downgraded Kuwait for the first time in its history as the coronavirus pandemic burned a hole in the country’s finances.
Even with the treasury rapidly depleting, the government has no legal framework to deficit-spend beyond its current limit of $33 billion without parliamentary approval. Lawmakers have fiercely opposed raising the debt ceiling, fearing the money will be pillaged thanks to corruption.