Kuwaiti cabinet resigns en masse

March 18th, 2008 - 12:48 am ICT by admin  

(Lead)

Kuwait City, March 17 (IANS) Kuwait’s entire cabinet resigned Monday amid strained relationship between the legislative and executive powers in the country. First Deputy Premier and Defence Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and the cabinet members tendered their resignations to Prime Minister Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammed Al Sabah, state news agency KUNA reported.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Faisal Al-Hajji told KUNA the decision was taken following the weekly cabinet meeting Monday.

“The meeting mulled the tense relationship between the legislative and the executive authorities, taking into account the national interests,” he was quoted as saying.

“The government gives top priority to the interests of the citizens”.

The tension arose between cabinet members and legislators earlier this month after the latter demanded higher pay hikes for the nationals that what the government had announced.

In February, the Kuwaiti government had announced a salary hike of 120 Kuwaiti dinars ($440) for all Kuwaitis, including those working in the private sector.

Many legislators, however, said this was not enough given that Kuwait was selling its oil at record prices of over $90 a barrel, and demanded that the salary hike be increased by 50 more Kuwaiti dinars ($188) a month.

The government, however, stated that generous salaries for Kuwaitis were eating up half the state budget.

On Monday, Al-Hajji said, “The cabinet members took this step (of resigning en masse) with a view to serve the national interests in the first place.”

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