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Originally published Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 8:14 AM

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Kuwait: Ruler accepts resignation of government

Kuwait's ruler has accepted the resignation of the prime minister and his Cabinet, the OPEC nation's official news agency said Sunday, laying the groundwork for a new government to be formed.

The Associated Press

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KUWAIT CITY —

Kuwait's ruler has accepted the resignation of the prime minister and his Cabinet, the OPEC nation's official news agency said Sunday, laying the groundwork for a new government to be formed.

The decision is the latest step aimed at breaking a political stalemate in that has pitted Kuwait's Western-backed ruling dynasty against conservative Islamists and other opposition lawmakers.

An order from the emir, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, called for the government to continue on a caretaker basis until another is chosen, the Kuwait News Agency reported.

The Cabinet handed in its collective resignation last week. That move and the emir's subsequent acceptance are seen as formalities after a court ruled June 20 that parliamentary elections held in February were unconstitutional.

Prime Minister Sheik Jaber Al Hamad Al Sabah, a member of the ruler's family, was quoted Sunday as saying he and his Cabinet resigned "for the sake of abiding by all relevant legal and constitutional procedures as well as sound implementation of the rule of the Constitutional Court."

The court's ruling called for reinstating the previous legislature, elected in 2009. Those lawmakers are seen as more liberal and supportive of the government than the parliament elected in February, which is dominated by hard-line Islamists and their conservative tribal allies. Tensions have flared since then.

Kuwait has the Gulf's most politically independent parliament. It often demands to question top officials and has the ability to pass no-confidence votes to oust Cabinet officials.

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