West News Wire: After a court verdict reinstated legislators as of 2020, Kuwait’s crown prince declared that the country’s parliament will once more be dissolved and new elections would be arranged.
In a speech to the country on Monday, Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmed Al Jaber made the declaration as the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan approaches its conclusion this week. He referred to the choice as the Kuwaiti people’s desire, the state-run KUNA news agency reported.
Sheikh Meshal, who was delivering the address in place of Kuwait’s 85-year-old ruler Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, referenced a statute that permits the emir to dissolve parliament.
In March, Kuwait’s Constitutional Court threw out a 2022 election for parliament, citing “discrepancies” in the decree dissolving the 2020 parliament for its ruling. That briefly reinstated the former lawmakers.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the order Monday took effect immediately, though analysts had expected parliament to be dissolved. Elections were to be scheduled within the next two months, the 82-year-old Sheikh Meshal said.
Kuwait has the freest and most active assembly among the Gulf Arab states, but political power is still largely concentrated in the hands of the ruling Al Sabah family, which appoints the prime minister and Cabinet, and can dissolve the assembly at any time. Meanwhile, political squabbling has affected the country’s economy, stopping it from passing a law allowing Kuwait to borrow money.
Kuwait, which borders Saudi Arabia and Iraq, has the world’s sixth-largest known oil reserves and hosts some thousands of American troops.