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Kuwait government drops threat to prosecute lawmakers for breaking Covid-19 rules on gatherings Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Kuwait government drops threat to prosecute lawmakers for breaking Covid-19 rules on gatherings

Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah said lawmakers would not be referred for prosecution [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 March, 2021

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The move comes amid a months-long standoff between Kuwait's publicly-elected MPs and its appointed prime minister.
Kuwait's government on Wednesday dropped a threat of legal action against 38 lawmakers accused of breaking Covid-19 restrictions by holding private gatherings.

In a statement on Tuesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah said the interior ministry would not be referring the 38 lawmakers to prosecutors.

The Kuwaiti premier also thanked the country's emir and crown prince for "necessary measures to withdraw reports submitted recently by the interior ministry regarding gatherings held by parliament members that were attended by several citizens".

The move comes amid a months-long standoff between Kuwait's publicly-elected MPs and its appointed prime minister.

Earlier this year, opposition lawmakers voted to question Sheikh Sabah over ministerial appointments, leading the country's government to resign. Parliament was then suspended for a month on 18 February by Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah in a bid to defuse tensions.

Kuwait's parliament, which holds substantial powers in the Gulf state, is currently at odds with the government over how to overcome the country's worst financial crisis in decades.

A deadlock in Kuwait's legislature has stymied a debt law that would allow the country to tap international debt markets to tackle its liquidity squeeze. 

Tensions between the government and MPs were further inflamed on Sunday when a court expelled outspoken opposition lawmaker Bader Al-Dahoum for insulting the country's late emir.

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