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Kuwait's prime minister resigns after protests

image copyrightAFP
image captionSheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah first became prime minister in 2006

Kuwait's prime minister has resigned along with his government, following a growing row with his parliamentary opponents about alleged corruption.

Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah had been under pressure over allegations that 15 MPs were paid bribes to support the government.

Opposition lawmakers and protesters stormed parliament earlier this month to demand his resignation.

Sheikh Nasser will remain in charge until a new government is formed.

State television in Kuwait said the country's emir, who appoints prime ministers, had accepted the resignation.

It quoted Sheikh Nasser as saying the decision of the government to step down was "to comply with the national interest and due to the danger the situation had reached".

Kuwait has largely avoided the unrest that has spread through the Arab world, but tensions have risen significantly over the corruption row.

Hundreds of people began protesting outside parliament every week, leading eventually to the occupation of the chamber on 16 November.

The emir described the event as a "black day" and promised to restore order.

At least 45 people were later arrested.

Opposition MPs have welcomed Sheikh Nasser's resignation and have called for the formation of a transitional government.

"We are waiting for the appointment of a new prime minister before parliament is dissolved in order to be assured of fair elections," opposition MP Khaled al-Sultan told the AFP news agency.

Another MP, Daifalla Buramia, said: "We are waiting for the next step to dissolve parliament, a quarter of whose members have been referred to the prosecution".

Sheikh Nasser has been in office for five years and has presided over seven different governments during that period.

More on this story

  • Protesters storm Kuwaiti parliament