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Kuwait's ruling emir accepts government resignation

FILE PHOTO: Kuwait's Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait’s emir accepted the resignation of the government on Thursday, two days after parliament filed a no-confidence motion against Interior Minister Sheikh Khalid al-Jarrah al-Sabah, who is a senior member of the ruling Al Sabah family.

Lawmakers had questioned Sheikh Khalid over alleged abuse of power, charges he rejected. The country’s public works minister resigned last Friday after being grilled by parliament about flood damage in the desert country following heavy rainfall.

Cabinet resignations in the Gulf Arab state happen frequently when elected lawmakers are set to question or submit a no-confidence vote against senior government officials.

The cabinet will remain in office until a new government is appointed, the government communication office said in a Twitter post.

Kuwait, a U.S.-allied OPEC producer, has the most open political system in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, with a parliament that has the power to pass legislation and question ministers.

The government is headed by a prime minister selected by the emir, who has the final say in state matters. Senior posts are occupied by ruling family members.

Frictions between the cabinet and parliament have led to frequent reshuffles or the dissolution of parliament.

The assembly’s speaker, Marzouq al-Ghanem, told state news agency KUNA on Thursday that the emir does not intend to dissolve parliament.

Reporting by Ahmed Hagagy in Kuwait and Sylvia Westall and Hadeel Al Sayegh in Dubai; Editing by Ghaida Ghantous and Gareth Jones