Kuwait: The Prime Minister Wins Again

Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah has broken a new record with his appointment as prime minister of Kuwait for the seventh time in five years. He was first appointed to the position on February 7, 2006, and six cabinets have since resigned under his watch.

When he was first appointed prime minister, some bloggers welcomed this decision by the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, saying Al-Mohammed might be the one to lead Kuwait forward with his liberal vision. At present however, things have changed a lot and some bloggers and Twitter users have been campaigning, alongside political groups, demanding his departure.

Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah, prime minister of Kuwait. Image by Diwan, available in public domain.

Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah, prime minister of Kuwait. Image by Diwan, available in public domain.

Demand for departure

On March 8, 2011, a sit-in was organized to demand the departure of Al-Mohammed, where opposition figures gave speeches to approximately 700 people, accusing the Prime Minister of corruption.

The sit-ins continued on and off for the following weeks until the cabinet presented its resignation due to requests from the parliament to quiz three ministers, who happen to be members of the Al-Sabah ruling family.

Many hope that the new cabinet will not include Al-Mohammed as the prime minister, however, the Amir, who has the exclusive constitutional right to appoint the country's prime minister, decided to reappoint Al-Mohammed.

Some bloggers have expressed their disappointment with this decision throughout the past 10 days and how this decision might have consequences in the future. Here is a quote from blog The Constitution [ar]:

يتسائل البعض حول أسباب عدم رغبة البعض في أن يتولى الشيخ ناصر المحمد رئاسة الوزراء من جديد. دعوني ألخص رأينا سرقات تعدت ما كنا نسمع به من ألاف إلى ملايين ووصلت الى المليارات من الدنانير. رأينا شيكات تدفع لنواب ويتم تجييرها على أنها صدقات وكفالة أيتام. رأينا إعتداء على نواب و على مواطنين لمجرد حضورهم ومشاركتهم ندوات. رأينا إعلام لا هدف له سوى التلميع للرئيس وضرب معارضينه رأينا إعلام يقسم الكويتيين.
Some wonder about the reasons behind not wanting Nasser Al-Mohammed to be reappointed as the Prime Minister. Let me sum it up. We have heard about millions and billions of dinars being stolen. We have heard about parliament members getting bribed under the cover of making donations to charity organisations and sponsoring orphans. We have seen Parliament members and citizens getting beaten for attending political gatherings. We have seen a media that aims for nothing but praising the prime minister and bashing his opposition. We have seen a media that divides Kuwaitis.

Another blogger named Al-Fargad wrote a post titled “The Jasmine Tea State” [ar] commenting on the reappointing of Al-Mohammed:

أبشروا بالفساد الأداري، أبشروا بالرشاوي، أبشروا بالفضائح، أبشروا بعودة الأعلام الفاسد…

Cheer for the corruption, cheer for the bribes, cheer for the scandals, cheer for the comeback of the rotten media

On the other hand, blogger Le Koweit [ar] shared an optimistic note:

الكثير أصابهم اليأس والإحباط بعد تكليف الشيخ ناصر المحمد بتشكيل حكومته السابعة. ولا ألومهم، بل أنا أيضاَ أصابني مثل ما أصابهم ولكني فكرت ووجدت أن الأمر لم ينتهي بعد. فإعادة تكليف الشيخ ناصر المحمد ليست نهاية المطاف، لقد خسرنا معركة ولكننا لم نخسر الحرب.
Many have been disappointed because Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed has been reappointed to form a seventh cabinet. I do not blame them, I also have been disappointed but I thought and found out that the story did not end because we have lost a battle but not the whole war.

And last, but not least, Kuwaiti blogger 3ajel wrote in his blog Bil Kuwaity Al-Fasih, a post to express his sadness, addressing the Prime Minister directly:

سمو الرئيس لا أشعر بغير الأسى لحال الكويت أما حالك فهي من صنعك وها نحن نعود من جديد لمشاهدة الفيلم الماسخ المحمد يشكل للمرة السابعة على التوالي ولأن كل شيء تقوم به يأتي متأخرا فأن التعديل الموسع الذي راهنا أنه سيخفف – قليلا – من حدة التوتر لم يعد ذو جدى الآن لأنه تأخر عن موعده كثيرا بعد أن كانت فرصة مناسبة بداية السنة
Your highness, I feel sad for the condition of Kuwait, and as for your condition, I say, you have created it for yourself and here are we, going back to watching the tasteless movie of Al-Mohammed being asked to form the seventh cabinet in a row. Everything you do comes late, thus, the large reforms we've bet on to make the situation less tense, will no longer be useful because you are always too late although the promised reforms were a chance for you to have a good start this year.

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