Kuwaiti Cabinet ministers submit resignations amid tension

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Two senior Cabinet ministers in Kuwait submitted their resignations to the prime minister Wednesday, citing political turbulence and the impossibility of reform in the Gulf Arab state.

In a joint statement to reporters, the country's defense and interior ministers decried their inability to achieve “the reforms and development that the Kuwaiti people deserve” and a national political atmosphere “full of quarreling.” It was not immediately clear whether the prime minister would accept their resignations.

Their defiant move threatens to plunge Kuwait's government into further chaos at a time of deepening gridlock between the emir-appointed Cabinet and elected National Assembly.

Kuwait's rowdy parliament, a rarity in the autocratic region of Persian Gulf sheikhdoms, has held up key social and economic reforms while hauling in ministers for questioning about matters related to corruption.

Oil-rich Kuwait bans political parties but gives parliament power to pass and block laws, question ministers and submit no-confidence votes against senior officials.

Last week, lawmakers grilled the foreign minister for hours about his alleged misuse of public funds. He survived a vote of no confidence on Wednesday.

Defense Minister Sheikh Hamad Jaber al-Ali Al Sabah and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmed Mansour al-Ahmed Al Sabah, also members of Kuwait's royal family, criticized the lengthy and frequent interrogations as an “abuse” of the constitutional powers granted to lawmakers.