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Kuwait emir makes public appearance after delegating most duties

DUBAI - Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah made a public appearance on state television on Wednesday more than a week after temporarily handing over most of his responsibilities to the Gulf state's crown prince, his designated heir.

Kuwait emir makes public appearance after delegating most duties

FILE PHOTO: Sheikh Nawaf al Ahmed al Sabah is sworn-in as new Emir of Kuwait. Photo: Reuters

DUBAI - Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah made a public appearance on state television on Wednesday more than a week after temporarily handing over most of his responsibilities to the Gulf state's crown prince, his designated heir.

Sheikh Nawaf, who has looked frail in his recent appearances, had asked Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah to take over most of his main constitutional responsibilities, without specifying for how long.

Kuwaitia television channel showed the emir receiving the crown prince, newly reappointed Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid and parliament speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim.

The crown prince on Tuesday renamed Sheikh Sabah as premier and asked him to form a new cabinet, following the government's resignation on Nov. 8 in a move aimed at ending a standoff with the elected parliament that has hindered fiscal reform efforts.

In a trembling voice, Sheikh Nawaf wished the three men success in their mission, stressing "the great responsibility" they face.

As part of efforts to defuse the feud, the emir had issued an amnesty pardoning political dissidents, including former MPs in self-exile abroad, some of whom returned home last week.

Several opposition lawmakers had sought to question Sheikh Sabah on various issues, including the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and corruption allegations.

Frequent political deadlock in Kuwait has for decades caused cabinet reshuffles and dissolutions of parliament, which enjoys more power than similar bodies in other Gulf monarchies, including to pass and block laws, question ministers and submit no-confidence votes against senior government officials.

The political instability has hindered reform and investment. REUTERS

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