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Press Dossier    By Date   02/01/2023 Over 60 top officials resign

Kuwait Times, Monday, Jan 02, 2023 | Jamadi Al Thani 9, 1444

Over 60 top officials resign

Kuwait: More than 60 senior government bureaucrats have resigned in the past six weeks, mostly to avail lucrative financial benefits, leaving most ministries searching for new leaders.  The resignations are unprecedented in Kuwait’s history and have been wide-ranging, including almost all ministries and key government departments – from the Civil Aviation and Public Authority of Manpower (PAM) to Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and Kuwait Credit Bank (KCB).

The main motive behind the mass top-level resignations is a government decision to award those who resign exceptional financial benefits exceeding 80 percent of their existing wages, way above normal retirement pay. But a number of such resignations were also demanded by the government for political or administrative reasons, as some of them were linked to the previous government or tied to corruption investigations.

Among those who resigned on Thursday, the last day of the benefits offer, were KCB director Salah Al-Mudhaf, after 12 years of service, director of KFAED Marwan Al-Ghanem, head of PAM Mubarak Al-Azemi and his deputy Eman Al-Ansari, acting ministry of justice undersecretary Khaled Al-Dakheel and others.

According to announcements and local media that followed the resignations, at least 60 senior officials have submitted their resignations since Nov 17.  They include three deputies of the foreign minister, assistant undersecretaries in most ministries, Kuwait University director and a number of his assistants, director of the Civil Aviation and many others. Local commentators wondered the main aim of the new government for encouraging senior officials to quit.

Some said this will give new Prime Minister HH Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf Al-Sabah, branded a reformist by the parliamentary opposition, a golden opportunity to shake up the government administrative staff, often accused of red tape and corruption, and reform the whole administration.

Others have criticized the premier for allowing a large number of leading bureaucrats to step down, leaving the country in an administrative vacuum. MP Faisal Al-Kandari on Wednesday strongly criticized the government for encouraging the mass exodus of senior officials that threatened administrative paralysis in the country.

Sheikh Ahmad was appointed prime minister for the first time in July when the country was plunged in a political crisis. He was reappointed after the September general polls, where the opposition scored a landslide victory.

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