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Middle East
Kuwait PM to face confidence vote
Opposition legislators take Gulf state's premier to task over use of 'excessive police force' to break up protest.
Last Modified: 28 Dec 2010 12:05 GMT
Rejecting the prime minister could spark a political crisis in the Gulf state [EPA]

Opposition legislators in Kuwait have tabled a no-confidence motion against the country's prime minister over the use of force by police to break up an opposition protest earlier this month.

Jassem al-Khorafi, the parliament speaker, said on Tuesday that a vote on the motion against Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al Sabah, Kuwait's prime minister, has been set for January 5.

Rejecting the premier could spark a political crisis in the Gulf state.

But government officials appear unworried by the planned vote,  claiming that the opposition bloc cannot secure a majority in the 50-seat chamber to unseat Sheikh Nasser, a nephew of Kuwait's ruler.

Premier questioned

The motion comes after Sheikh Nasser faced a closed-door questioning by parliament members over a clash between security forces and opposition legislators and  supporters at a rally held on December 8.

Kuwaiti officials say the crowd taunted police and did not have a permit for the rally.

A prominent academic and journalist remain behind bars over the protest, with rights groups calling for the man to be released.

Al Jazeera was ordered to leave Kuwait after reporting the tactics used by police to break up the rally.

Kuwait's parliament, the most outspoken in a region mostly governed by ruling families, has triggered numerous cabinet resignations or reshuffles.

Last year Sheikh Nasser agreed to be questioned by parliament, a first for a head of government in the Gulf state, and he survived a similar non-cooperation motion.

The no confidence motion has to be passed by a majority in parliament before being sent to the emir.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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