Kuwait government, OPEC heavyweight, resigns
Kuwait’s government resigned on Tuesday as the political stalemate in one of OPEC’s biggest producers deepened ahead of a vote of no confidence in parliament.
Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah tendered the government’s resignation today, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.
Parliament Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim said the National Assembly canceled Wednesday’s session for the no-confidence vote after the prime minister’s resignation. Kuwaiti Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received the resignation. The crown prince took over most of the functions of the Kuwaiti emir at the end of 2021.
The political leadership in Kuwait is considering resignation, reports KUNA. The government had been in power for just over three months, and was the third to be installed last year amid a political stalemate between the government and members of the Kuwaiti parliament.
Kuwait’s parliament has more powers than similarly structured bodies in the Middle East’s largest oil producers, including votes of no confidence in senior cabinet officials and the power to pass laws or not.
Political constraints in decision-making in Kuwait prompted Fitch Ratings to lower Kuwait’s long-term foreign currency issuer (IDR) default rating to AA- from AA earlier this year.
“There has been a lack of significant underlying fiscal adjustment to recent oil price shocks and the outlook for reforms remains weak, despite some positive policy developments in a national dialogue. a debt law will be passed in 2022, this has been under discussion since 2017, reflecting the slow decision-making processes in Kuwait,” Fitch said in January.
“Political divisions persist, despite national dialogue, and risk preventing broader reform of Kuwait’s fiscal rigidities,” the rating agency added.
Kuwait is currently OPEC’s fourth largest producer, behind Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In February 2022, Kuwait’s oil production averaged 2.61 million bpd, according to secondary OPEC sources.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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