Kuwait Times, Monday, Jan 02, 2023 | Jamadi Al Thani 9, 1444
Over 60 top officials resign
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.