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Kuwait's prime minister submits Cabinet's resignation

Ministers handed in their resignations Tuesday amid a standoff with parliament.

Kuwait’s prime minister submitted his government’s resignation Wednesday, with the Cabinet calling it quits after just a month in office. 

Prime Minister Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah handed in his Cabinet’s resignation to the Gulf-rich state’s ruling emir, Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmed Al Sabah, the official KUNA news agency reported. On Tuesday, ministers stepped down en masse, with the deputy prime minister citing "current developments regarding the relation between the National Assembly and the government."

Their resignation comes after 38 members of parliament sought to question the prime minister over what they believe was a violation of the Kuwaiti Constitution when he formed a new government last month.  

Kuwait’s fully elected, 50-person National Assembly is the oldest parliament in the Gulf region. The US-allied country held parliamentary elections in December, during which the opposition won nearly half the seats. All the women running lost their races, leaving the legislature without a single female lawmaker. 

Days after the elections, the prime minister appointed a new Cabinet on Dec. 14, replacing the oil and finance ministers and keeping just six of the original 16 ministers who served in the previous government. Corruption allegations in November 2019 also forced a Cabinet to resign. 

The political upheaval, which comes as Kuwait’s economy suffers from the dual shock of declining oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic, is Sheikh Nawaf’s first major test as emir of the OPEC member state. He took power in September following the death of his half-brother, 91-year-old Sheikh Sabah.