Kuwait: The Kuwaiti government quit on Monday, parliamentary sources said, to resolve demands from protesters and opposition deputies that the prime minister step down over corruption allegations.
It was not immediately clear whether the cabinet`s resignation had been accepted by the ruling emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah. If he does so, he may then also dissolve parliament before setting a date for new elections.
The parliament speaker told reporters after a meeting with the emir and members of the cabinet that he had not been informed of any decision to dissolve the assembly.
The Gulf state, one of OPEC`s largest oil producers, saw its greatest political crisis in years escalate sharply earlier this month, when demonstrators accompanied by opposition lawmakers stormed parliament to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah.
A small population and a generous social welfare system have insulated Kuwait, which sits on one-tenth of global crude reserves, from mass protests that have buffeted the Arab world this year and led to the fall of four Arab autocrats.
But the tiny oil state, which allows criticism of its government to a degree rare in the Gulf, has been locked in a political battle between the government dominated by the ruling Al Sabah family and the elected parliament.
The previous cabinet resigned in March to avoid parliamentary questioning of three ministers, the main weapon the elected body has against the government.