Kuwait key opposition group calls for PM ouster
A key Kuwaiti opposition group on Monday demanded the ouster of the prime minister as youth activists called for a rally on March 8 to force the premier to quit.
"The first step toward reforms is in forming a new government under a new prime minister that should be capable of running the country and reforming imbalances," said a statement by the nationalist Popular Action Bloc.
The new government should combat corruption, safeguard the constitution and public funds, guarantee public freedoms and find solutions for unemployment and housing, the statement said.
The bloc, headed by veteran former three-time parliament speaker Ahmad al-Saadun, is one of the most influential opposition groups in the oil-rich Gulf state. It only has four MPs in the 50-seat house but several backers.
Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah, a nephew of the ruler, has been under increasing pressure to resign and in January narrowly survived a non-cooperation vote that could have ousted him.
Since being appointed to the post in early 2006, Sheikh Nasser has fought almost non-stop with the opposition in parliament and five of his six cabinets were forced to resign.
As a result of ongoing political crises, parliament was also dissolved three times.
Opposition groups in Kuwait have agreed to shelve anti-government protests in February as the country marks the 50th anniversary of its independence, the 20th anniversary of Kuwait's liberation from Iraqi occupation and the emir's ascendance to power five years ago.
A group of youth called the Fifth Fence plans to hold a protest outside parliament on March 8 to press for the ouster of the prime minister and has been urging supporters through Twitter to gather in large numbers.
Also, the newly established Kuwaiti Progressive Group, a liberal movement, called on Saturday for the prime minister to quit and for the implementation of political reforms.