Kuwait: too much politics, or not enough?

By Kristin Smith Diwan

On Dec. 28, Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammed al-Sabah, Prime Minister and nephew to the ruling Emir, stood before the Kuwaiti National Assembly to face intensive questioning from representatives of Kuwait’s three main opposition groupings. The parliamentary "grilling"– in Kuwait’s colorful parlance — came in response to his government’s use of force to break up a meeting of academics and parliamentarians, a gathering which itself was called to protest alleged constitutional violations by the government. Eight days later, the premier narrowly escaped a vote of no-confidence by the Kuwaiti parliament which would have forced the Emir to relieve him of his post or dissolve the parliament and call for new elections.

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