By B Izzak
KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday began customary consultations with current and former Assembly speakers and prime ministers ahead of naming a prime minister to form the new Cabinet. HH the Amir received former speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun and current speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem, in addition to former prime ministers HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah. He also received HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, whose Cabinet resignation was accepted by the Amir on Monday.
Sheikh Nawaf can either ask Sheikh Sabah to form the next Cabinet or name a new prime minister, and this is likely to happen before the weekend. Ghanem meanwhile called off the regular Assembly session scheduled for yesterday because he was informed by the government that no minister will attend the session amid protests by opposition MPs.
The speaker told the lawmakers who came to the chamber that based on the constitution and previous practice, the presence of at least one minister is a precondition for the session to be legal. A number of opposition MPs challenged that there is no clear text in the constitution or the Assembly’s internal charter that requires ministers to be present for the session to convene.
Ghanem later told reporters that all speakers since 1968 cancelled Assembly sessions when no minister showed up, adding that constitutional experts have approved this practice. He however said that opposition MPs can support a resolution by the Assembly to send this point to the constitutional court to resolve the controversy.