Kuwait MPs may meet Emir to avert crisis


The stand-off was provoked by three parliamentarians who on Tuesday asked to question the prime minister after he allowed a controversial Iranian Shia cleric to visit.

The three say the cleric offended Kuwait’s predominantly Sunni Muslim population by insulting some of the Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) companions, whom Sunnis revere.

“There is an expected meeting between the emir and the majority of MPs to contain this crisis,” deputy Ali Al Rashed said.

He did not say when the meeting would take place or what would be discussed.

According to a draft of the motion, the three also wanted to question Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al Mohammad Al Sabah, a nephew of the emir, about allegations of corruption.

If parliament is dissolved, Kuwait’s constitution requires new elections be held within two months. Parliament was dissolved in March, the fifth time since it was established in 1963.

The Emir H H Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, who has the final say in Kuwaiti politics, can also suspend parliament without holding new elections.

Sheikh Sabah has never taken this step, but his predecessors suspended the assembly for six years in 1986 and five years in 1976.

The government could also resign to avoid the questioning, and the emir would appoint a new government.


Analysts said the demand to question the prime minister might not gain much support because Kuwait is struggling with the impact of the global financial crisis.

“We have other problems that we need to deal with such as the financial crisis, the bourse problems and troubles of investment firms,” said Ali Al Baghli, a former oil minister. “This questioning is not a priority for Kuwait now.”

Sheikh Sabah has repeatedly urged deputies and the government to work together, but tensions persist.

The Iranian cleric at the centre of the storm, Mohammad Fali, left Kuwait yesterday, according to media reports.


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