Kuwaiti lawmakers quit in opposition to rife corruption

The Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Kuwait faced a fresh bout of political uncertainty on Monday after opposition lawmakers said the government has submitted its resignation to the Gulf nation’s ruler amid a growing crisis over corruption accusations.

However, there was no official word on such a move, which could lead to parliament being dissolved and new elections — if it’s accepted by Kuwait’s emir.

One opposition lawmaker, Khaled al-Sultan, told reporters that the Cabinet tendered the resignations just hours before a major protest rally was set to begin.

The oil-rich nation has been locked in an increasingly bitter dispute between the government and opposition groups demanding the prime minister’s resignation. Protesters stormed parliament earlier in November to decry claims that officials transferred state funds to bank accounts abroad.

The unrest comes against the backdrop of widespread and sometimes violent protests that have roiled the Arab world.
Yet there is little sign the tumult could seriously challenge Kuwait’s political system — a constitutional monarchy whose parliament has the most powers of any elected body in the Gulf.

Kuwait’s political uncertainty is nonetheless a cause for concern among its Western allies. The OPEC member nation could host thousands more American forces under a Pentagon-drafted plan to boost troop strength in the Gulf after the U.S. withdraws from Iraq.