Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah addresses the opening session of the new parliamentary term in Kuwait City
Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah addresses the opening session of the new parliamentary term in Kuwait City, February 2012. A leading Kuwaiti newspaper called for an end to an escalating power struggle within the Al-Sabah ruling family, warning that it could have grave consequences on the oil-rich Gulf state. © Yasser al-Zayyat - AFP/File
Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah addresses the opening session of the new parliamentary term in Kuwait City
AFP
Last updated: April 15, 2012

Kuwait daily urges end to royal infighting

A leading Kuwaiti newspaper called Sunday for an end to an escalating power struggle within the Al-Sabah ruling family, warning that it could have grave consequences on the oil-rich Gulf state.

"Today, we are concerned, worried and shocked while we watch this infighting between wings of the ruling family intensify," the liberal Al-Qabas daily said in a front-page editorial.

"The dispute... is at a turning point. It is feared that if it is not swiftly resolved by the family wisemen, it will become... violent," the daily cautioned.

OPEC's third largest producer has been rocked by a series of political crises since 2006 that resulted in the resignation of eight cabinets and the dissolution of parliament on four occasions.

Kuwaitis often blame the turmoil on disputes between senior members of the Al-Sabah family, which has been in power without challenge for more than 250 years.

Under Kuwaiti law, all male descendants of Kuwait's late ruler Mubarak Al-Kabeer, who number around 350, are eligible to become emir. They are divided into several camps and are competing for the top posts.

Al-Qabas, owned by several wealthy merchant families, warned that the long-standing royal feud could "become extremely grave" because the separate camps are seeking support from the public, cautioning that the disputes could spread to "state institutions"

In 2006, a power struggle among the Al-Sabahs resulted in an unprecedented vote by parliament to remove the emir of the time, Sheikh Saad Abdullah al-Sabah, on health grounds.

The emir, the crown prince and the prime minister are all members of the Al-Sabah family, which also controls the key ministries of defence, interior, information and foreign affairs.

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