Decks cleared for fresh elections in Kuwait

October 8, 2012
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Kuwait’s Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah on Sunday dissolved the parliament, paving the way for legislative elections within 60 days.

It will be the first time in Kuwait’s history that legislative elections are held twice in one year.

However, the parliament was dissolved in June after the constitutional court ruled that the decrees for dissolving the 2009 parliament and calling for the elections in February were unconstitutional.

The reinstated parliament twice failed to convene after failing to muster a quorum on both occasions in the face of intense pressure from the opposition.

The Speaker of the House eventually declared he would not attempt to call for a parliamentary session again and that the future of the parliament was in the hands of the Emir.

The cabinet last week submitted a draft decree to dissolve the parliament. Information minister Mohammad Al Abdullah said that the cabinet based its decision to seek the dissolution of parliament on Article 107 of the constitution and taking into consideration the impossibility of convening it given the lack of quorum.

On February 2, Kuwaitis elected a parliament that replaced the legislative house elected in 2009 and dissolved in December 2011. However, in an unprecedented ruling in June, the Constitutional Court declared illegal February’s elections for the National Assembly, in which the Islamist-led opposition made significant gains, and reinstated the previous parliament. The opposition has demanded that parliament be dissolved and fresh elections held as soon as possible. Kuwait’s parliament has the most powers of any elected body in the Gulf, and opposition MPs openly criticise the ruling Sabah family. But the Sabahs retains full control over key government and executive posts. The Emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, called February’s election amid a crisis over corruption allegations. In November, the cabinet resigned shortly before former Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al Mohammad Al Sabah was to be asked about the alleged payment of bribes to pro-government MPs. Protesters had stormed the parliament building the previous month when the government tried to prevent Shaikh Nasser facing questions.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/kuwait/decks-cleared-for-fresh-elections-in-kuwait-1.1086257

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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