Kuwait opposition delays prime-minister’s questioning

 

The Popular Action Bloc decided to delay their threat to grill the prime-minister to a later, unspecified date. The decision was announced after an emergency meeting held at the bloc’s leader’s office, former parliament speaker Al Saadoun. The meeting was attended by MPs Ahmad Al-Saadoun, Musallam Al-Barrak and Khalid Al-Tahous.

 

The announcement refutes rumors that the Bloc was preparing to question the prime minister. Questioning the prime minister in Kuwait is considered a “political insult” and often leads to the resignation of the government to avoid the questioning or in more extreme situations, the dissolution of parliament, as has happened earlier in the year.

 

The Popular Action Bloc is a Shiite religious group, who have threatened in the past to grill the prime minster and other ministers on various, mainly populist issues.

 

On the other hand, the Bloc is considering questioning the Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali on issues relating to use of public funds and loan cancellations.

 

Analysis and forecast: decreasing risk


Although the Popular Action Bloc does not even hold a majority in the Kuwaiti parliament, Kuwaiti politics are such that a request to question the prime minister or a senior government minister could lead to serious repercussions, including the possibility of the dissolution of parliament.

 

The withdrawal of the intention to question the prime minister by the Bloc is a move that will reduce the risk of an imminent political crisis, at least for the time being. However, the possibility of questioning the Finance Minister has been raised. Although questioning the Finance Minister will not carry with it the same amount of risk questioning the prime minister or a royal family member of the government does, it will nonetheless create political tensions that may lead to a deterioration of the relations between the government and parliament.

 

The figure below show the current make up of the Kuwait parliament.