KUWAIT (Reuters) – OPEC-member Kuwait’s oil minister has offered to resign after some members of parliament voiced resistance to his appointment a week ago, newspapers said on Sunday.
The minister, Bader al-Humaidhi, met with Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah late on Friday to discuss the possible resignation, al-Anba newspaper said.
Sheikh Nasser might accept the resignation on Sunday, al-Watan newspaper reported.
Changing the oil minister usually has no effect on Kuwait’s energy policy, which is set by a council that includes oil industry and other government officials.
Parliamentarian Saleh Ashour told al-Anba that Humaidhi’s resignation was verbal.
Parliament Speaker Jassem al-Kharafi declined to comment on the reports after a meeting with the ruler, Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, and the prime minister.
The meeting came after an open spat between Kharafi and the prime minister who criticized the speaker’s comments late on Saturday, saying he had tried to meddle into government affairs by naming people he thought should be named as ministers.
“The differences in points of view do not mean that we are having a dispute. Difference in views was for the good of Kuwait, democracy and openness,” Kharafi, a former government minister, told reporters.
The government and parliament of the Gulf Arab state have been locked in a standoff for much of the year, delaying reforms such as a bill to cut tax on foreign firms and a long-planned project to boost oil output with help from international firms.
Humaidhi, a former finance minister, took the oil portfolio in a broad cabinet reshuffle a week ago, but deputies who disagreed with his policies as finance minister immediately opposed his appointment.
In September, an Islamist MP submitted a request to question Humaidhi after a newspaper reported he had made administrative and financial mistakes as finance minister.
Sheikh Sabah, who has the last say in politics, has often asked deputies and the government to work together in a recent speech.
Analysts say the emir was on the brink of dissolving parliament earlier this year because of the political deadlock.
The oil portfolio had been vacant since June when Sheikh Ali al-Jarrah al-Sabah quit to avert a non-confidence vote in parliament.