Kuwait’s Emir Tells Ruling Family To Stop Squabbling


"These disputes are illogical, as someone is against his uncle while sons are prepared to oppose their fathers. These disputes must stop," Al-Watan daily quoted the emir as telling a meeting of senior ruling family members Saturday.

"All of you want to become ministers. You are fighting and playing out your disputes in the media," the emir said, according to Al-Siyassah daily.

Official media in Kuwait made no reference to the meeting, which was attended by about 200 family members aged 40 and above.

Last year, the ruling family was plunged into an internal power struggle that resulted in an unprecedented vote by the elected parliament to remove former emir Sheikh Saad Abdullah al-Sabah on health grounds.

The current emir denied reports he planned to suspend parliament or the oil-rich emirate’s 1962 constitution.

"I have no intention amend or suspend the constitution or dissolve parliament," he said.

Veteran opposition lawmaker Ahmad al-Saadun, a three-time speaker, warned last week against such a move, telling a public rally that suspending the constitution would be "a coup against the regime which we will confront, regardless of the consequences."

Another senior opposition lawmaker, Saleh al-Fadhalah, warned on Saturday that suspending the constitution could lead to street protests like those that erupted in the emirate about 20 years ago.

Kuwait’s constitution, the first adopted by an Arab state in the Gulf region, was suspended twice in 1976 for five years and in 1986 for six years when parliament was also dissolved.

The Al-Sabah family has run the affairs of the oil-rich emirate since Kuwait came into existence some 250 years ago, and Kuwaitis have seldom questioned their continuing rule.

The emir, crown prince and the prime minister are all from the Al-Sabah bloodline, which also controls the key ministerial porfolios of defence, interior, oil and foreign affairs.


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