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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 April, 2005, 17:55 GMT 18:55 UK
Kuwait PM warns national assembly
Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed
Sheikh Sabah has served as prime minister
Kuwait's prime minister has sharply criticised parliament for forcing the resignation of the health minister.

Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed expressed "dissatisfaction" at the motion which "risked harming co-operation" between government and parliament.

"It could also negatively impact on our national unity," he said in a statement read out on state television.

Muhammad Jarallah is the third minister to have resigned since 2003 after MPs tabled no-confidence motions.

Kuwaiti newspapers reported on Wednesday that the parliament was close to being dissolved by the executive, although Sheikh Ahmed did not say so specifically.

Kuwait is the only Gulf Arab state to have a fully elected parliament, which has often clashed with the government.

The electorate is restricted to literate Kuwaiti men, who make up about 15% of the population, which includes a large number of foreign workers and their families.

Reshuffles

A group of 10 MPs tabled the motion accusing Mr Jarallah of squandering public funds and mismanagement.

Citizens have been told there would be great achievements, but with two years gone, the outcome is almost nothing
Islamist MP
Correspondents say the government - which is picked by the Sabah ruling family - has a track record of low tolerance for no-confidence motions.

It often pre-empts them by ministerial resignations, Cabinet reshuffles or dissolving the 50-seat parliament.

Some analysts say the MPs who triggered Tuesday's resignation want to protest against there being no a Shia Muslim or member of the influential al-Azimi tribe in the cabinet.

However, several parliamentary blocs, including the large Islamic faction, say the government has failed to deliver promised reforms.

"Citizens have been told there would be great achievements, but with two years gone, the outcome is almost nothing," a member of the Islamic bloc, Fahd al-Khannah, is quoted as saying by French news agency AFP.




SEE ALSO:
How democratic is the Middle East?
03 Mar 05 |  Middle East
Minister quits ahead of grilling
02 Jan 05 |  Middle East
Kuwait hastens women's vote bill
07 Mar 05 |  Middle East
Timeline: Kuwait
14 Jul 03 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Kuwait
11 Sep 03 |  Country profiles


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