His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah yesterday accepted the resignation of the Cabinet submitted by Prime Minsiter Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah in a measure required under the constitution.
The Amir asked the premier and other ministers to continue as a care-taker government until the new Cabinet is formed. Under Kuwaiti law, the Cabinet must resign after the announcement of the parliamentary election results and a new Cabinet must be formed before the National Assembly holds its first session which must be within two weeks of the results.
The Amir also issued a decree inviting the new National Assembly to convene in December 16 during which the Assembly will elect the speaker, deputy speaker and members of various committees.
The Amir will start consultations by meeting with the former and current speakers of parliament in addition to a number of senior officials before asking the outgoing premier or someone else to form the new Cabinet. The decision on the new premier is expected to be made before the end of the week in order to give him sufficient time to pick up the ministers.
The new Cabinet does not require a vote of confidence from the Assembly and its unelected members automatically become members of the National Assembly and enjoy almost similar rights like elected MPs. The Cabinet must include at least one elected MP.
In a related development, head of the National Election Commission Ahmad Al-Ajeel said the voter turnout for the Saturday’s election boycotted by the opposition was 39.7 percent against the opposition claim that the turnout was as low as 26.7 percent. The Cabinet considered the results of the election as the true reflection of the selection of the Kuwaiti people.
The opposition, which has rejected the election and its outcome and called for the abolishing of the new Assembly, yesterday announced it will stage a new demonstration on Saturday. Organizers of ‘Karamat Watan’ (Dignity of a Nation 4) procession said on their Twitter account that the aim of the procession is to regain the nation’s sovereignty. The organizers however did not announce the timing and location of the procession which would be the fourth over the past few weeks.
The opposition has called for abolishing the new National Assembly and the withdrawal of the one-vote decree which triggered the ongoing confrontation between the government and the Islamist, nationalist and liberal opposition. Former opposition MP Faisal Al-Muslim also called on newly elected MPs to resign. But the new lawmakers were busy yesterday coordinating the election of the post of speaker and other key jobs in the new Assembly.
So far, MPs Ali Al-Omair, Ali Al-Rashed, Saad Al-Khanfour, Ahmad Al-Mulaifi, Saadoun Hammad, Bader Al-Bathali and others declared their intention to contest the speaker’s post. MPs Adnan Abdulsamad, Maaasouma Al-Muabrak and others have expressed the desire to contest the post of deputy speaker. Those two posts are permanent throughout the duration of the assembly while other posts and membership of assembly committee change every term. The opposition also held a meeting late Monday to review their plan of protests after the election.
By B Izzak, Kuwait Times Staff