The Kuwaiti opposition called on the Prime minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to resign after he narrowly survived a no-confidence vote. The fresh call came in a statement signed by 21 MPs following a meeting by the opposition lawmakers to reassess the situation following the grilling and non-cooperation vote against the prime minister.


The statement said that although the non-cooperation motion received the support of only 22 MPs and fell short by three votes, the explanatory note of the constitution prefers that the prime minister and ministers resign if they face a situation like this.


The statement reiterated the group's resolve and determination to continue to defend the constitution and public freedoms and warned the government it would face the consequences if those freedoms were violated. But the statement failed to explicitly state the future course of the opposition, apparently over differences between various components who range from Salafist Islamists to liberals to tribals. The statement did not also say if the opposition would grill the prime minister or any other minister in the future, or if they will organize public rallies to keep the pressure on the government.


In a separate development, the Interior minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Khalid Al-Sabah resigned after news of the death of a Kuwaiti prisoner due to torture.


January 10-13, 2011



Analysis and Forecast: Increasing Risk


The political situation in Kuwait is getting more complex. Although the prime minster survived the parliamentary vote, he did so very narrowly and with a small margin never seen before in Kuwait. The mandate the prime minister has is questionable given that representatives from across the political spectrum are now calling for his resignation. This is confirmed by opposition calls for the prime minster to resign shortly after the vote.


The resignation of the interior minister, though not directly related to the ongoing tensions, appears to have taken place in an attempt to pacify the opposition. In an unprecedented move, the minister resigned after an announcement that a Kuwaiti citizen died in custody as a result of torture. It is unlikely that such an event by itself would prompt the resignation of a senior member of the cabinet, who also happens to be a senior member of the ruling family.


Despite this, the recent events are likely to have only delayed the crisis rather than resolved them.  The situation in Kuwait remains unresolved and increasingly tense.


Below is a figure of the current make-up of the Kuwaiti parliament. Opposition to the prime minister includes members of almost all groups.