Kuwait: Information Minister Resigns to Defuse Tension Between Government, Parliament

Kuwait’s Information and Youth Minister Sheikh Salman Humoud Al-Sabah submitted his resignation on Monday, in a move aimed at defusing tension between the Cabinet and Parliament.

The minister’s resignation came two days before he was scheduled to face a confidence vote over a sports ban.

Ten deputies of the 50-member house filed a no-confidence motion after MPs grilled the minister last week. Three opposition lawmakers questioned Sheikh Salman on Tuesday over a failure to lift a 15-month international ban on Kuwaiti sports and over alleged administrative and financial violations.

The resignation was seen as a means to prevent a clash between the parliament keen on a no-confidence vote and the government determined to defend one of its members.

Deputies blamed the minister for causing the ban imposed on Kuwait by the International Olympic Committee, the world football body FIFA and several sports federations.

National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim announced last Tuesday that 10 MPs have requested the “no confidence” vote against Sheikh Salman, as per clause 101 of the national constitution.

Moreover, the accusations lodged against the minister of information included the international suspension of Kuwaiti sports activities, waste of public funds, financial and administrative violations at the Ministry of Information and National Council for Culture, Arts and Letter (NCCAL), as well as charges of restricting press freedom.

Clause 101 of the Kuwaiti Constitution stipulates: “Every minister is fully responsible for what goes on in their respective ministries and if a “no confidence” motion is approved against a minister, then he is required to tender his immediate resignation.”

In a separate development, Fire Service Directorate’s teams were able to put out a fire that erupted on Monday at Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Center in Kuwait city.

Head of the Amiri Diwan’s Financial and Administrative Affairs Abdulaziz Ishaq said firefighters responded promptly and effectively when the fire broke out as a result of construction work. Ishaq, who also heads the committee in charge of the cultural center, added that the building was completely evacuated at the time of the blaze, which only resulted in material damage.