Kuwait designated premier declines post amid rare public feud

Shaikh Jaber (KUNA)

Shaikh Jaber (KUNA)

By Habib Toumi

Kuwait: Kuwait’s caretaker prime minister has turned down a proposal by the Emir to be reappointed and to form a new government.

Shaikh Jaber Al Mubarak said in a statement on Monday that although it was an honor to serve the country, he felt sorry “over not being able to implement the Emir’s order “due to fear that he could not attend to his duties adequately.”

Shaikh Jaber who had been prime minister since 2011 added that he was sorry about the rumors being disseminated on traditional and social media and warned they would have a negative impact on the country.

The government resigned on Thursday following standoffs between lawmakers and ministers.

The situation was compounded when Defense Minister Shaikh Nasser Al Sabah on Saturday said that the main reason for the resignation was its failure to answer repeated queries over financial irregularities at the fund that offered social and financial support to the military personnel.

Shaikh Nasser said that the alleged mismanagement of some $790 million of the military fund occurred before he was appointed defense minister and that the repeated queries filed to Prime Minister Jaber Al Mubarak for explanations remained unanswered, hinting that the premier had dilly-dallied in tackling them.

Interior Minister Shaikh Khalid Al Jarah Al Sabah, who previously served as Defense Minister, denied the charges, said that the accuser was pursuing political aims and ambitions and insisted the case be decided by the legal authorities.

Following the rare public feud between the two ministers, the Emir, Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, on Monday removed them from their posts in the current caretaker cabinet.

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