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Pressure mounted on Prime minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah a day after the opposition filed a non-cooperation motion against him with calls for him to quit. Opposition Islamist MP Faisal Al-Mislem announced that the number of MPs supporting the motion has increased to 23, just two short of the required figure of 50, and advised the prime minister to step down. Pro-government MP Hussein Al-Qallaf, who has spared no effort in defending the prime minister, yesterday appeared less confident when he said the situation looked unclear and that he was contemplating resigning.

 

The Islamist Ummah Party meanwhile called on MPs to back the non-cooperation motion against the prime minister and called for replacing him with a new premier from outside the ruling family. The government spokesman told reporters the prime minister was confident of beating the opposition motion. "If we were not confident that the prime minister will defeat the motion, we would not have announced that we are going to attend the 5 January session" when the voting will take place, Busairi said.

 

December 30, 2010

 

 

Analysis and Forecast: Increasing Risk


 

Political tensions between parliament and the government have reached a new high. Since being appointed prime minister in 2006, tensions between the government and parliament has led to either the dissolution of parliament or the government’s resignation, with Sheikh Nasser asked to form the new government. With his position weaker than ever, there is an increased likelihood that he will resign and either be replaced by another prime minister, or that parliament will be dissolved.

 

If parliament is dissolved, it is unlikely that the Emir will call for elections immediately. If this happens, a repeat of the public demonstrations are very likely, leading to civil unrest.

 

Whatever the outcome of this crisis is, Kuwait appears to be entering a period of change in either the government, parliament or both.