Kuwait parliament: PM survives confidence vote

Kuwait's Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah waves as he leaves the parliament building in Kuwait December 28, 2010 Sheikh Nasser has been under constant pressure since he took office in 2006

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The prime minister of Kuwait has narrowly survived a vote of no-confidence in parliament - the second in just over a year.

Opposition MPs filed the motion against Sheikh Nasser Mohammed al-Sabah, a member of the ruling family, last week.

They had questioned his response to an opposition rally last month.

At least five people were injured when police used batons against MPs and their supporters. Officials said the gathering had not been authorised.

The vote caps weeks of political tensions in Kuwait, which has one of the few elected bodies in the Gulf.

Delayed reforms

MPs met behind closed doors to consider the motion filed against Sheikh Nasser, a nephew of the Kuwaiti ruler.

Start Quote

It's not possible for MPs to deal with a government that has humiliated the Kuwaiti people”

End Quote Jamaan al-Harbash Opposition MP

Twenty-five MPs voted in support of the prime minister, while 22 were against and one abstained. Twenty-five votes against were needed for the motion of "no co-operation" to pass.

Opposition politicians have vowed to continue their efforts to unseat the premier.

Islamist MP Jamaan al-Harbash said the "crisis will only end when this government reaches its end".

"It's not possible for MPs to deal with a government that has humiliated the Kuwaiti people," Mr Harbash was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

Sheikh Nasser also survived a no-confidence vote last year - the first-ever in Kuwait, which has the Gulf's oldest parliamentary democracy.

He has been under constant political pressure ever since he became prime minister in February 2006.

Since then, the cabinet has resigned five times and the ruler has dissolved parliament three times.

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