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28-11-2011 - AFP

Kuwaiti emir to dissolve parliament

Kuwait's ruler will chair an emergency meeting of the cabinet on Monday amid strong indications he will accept the resignation of the government and dissolve parliament, local media reported.

 

The reports come amid plans by the opposition to stage a mass rally Monday night to press for the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, a senior member of the ruling family.

 

Pro-government Al-Seyassah daily cited State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Ali al-Rashed as confirming that Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah will chair an extraordinary meeting for the cabinet later in the day.

 

The daily and several other local media cited unnamed informed sources as saying the emir will accept the resignation of the cabinet and then dissolve parliament and call for snap polls, the fourth in just over five years.

 

Opposition supporters Sunday night camped outside the palace of justice in the capital Kuwait City for the fifth night in a row as a show of solidarity with 24 activists arrested for storming parliament on November 16.

 

The latest developments appear to have been triggered by the reported resignation of three ministers of the 16-member cabinet of the oil-rich Gulf state in protest over the strained political situation.

 

Writing on his Twitter account, Islamist opposition MP Mohammad Hayef said Monday he has "personally confirmed" that three ministers had submitted their resignations to the prime minister.

 

He named them as health minister Helal al-Sayer, minister of justice and social affairs and labour Mohammad al-Afasi and state minister for development Abdulwahab al-Harun.

 

"I have personally confirmed that Afasi, Harun and Sayer have tendered their resignations. Although it came late, their move should be praised," Hayef said.

 

Political tensions have escalated sharply in OPEC's third largest producer with unprecedented mass protests amid a campaign by opposition MPs to force Sheikh Nasser, a nephew of the ruler, to resign.

 

Kuwait's public prosecutor on Sunday extended the detention of 24 opposition activists who stormed the parliament building on November 16 following clashes with riot police.

 

Opposition MPs are scheduled to question Sheikh Nasser in parliament on Tuesday over allegations of corruption.

 

Other sources on GCC civil society and human rights