In Kuwait, new political crisis with the dissolution of Parliament by the Emir

Kuwait is experiencing a new political crisis with the dissolution of Parliament on Friday May 10, barely six weeks after the elections

In Kuwait, new political crisis with the dissolution of Parliament by the Emir

Kuwait is experiencing a new political crisis with the dissolution of Parliament on Friday May 10, barely six weeks after the elections.

“An order from the Emir has been issued to dissolve the National Assembly and suspend certain articles of the Constitution for a period not exceeding four years,” Kuwaiti news agency KUNA said. She added that the emir, Sheikh Meshaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and the council of ministers “assumed the powers granted to the National Assembly” to end an institutional blockage.

“We have been faced with difficulties and obstacles that cannot be tolerated,” declared the head of state in a speech broadcast on official television, accusing certain deputies of seeking to “interfere” with his sovereign powers.

Refusal to participate in government

Parliament, elected in early April, was due to meet for the first time on Monday. But several deputies refused to participate in the government. Kuwait's constitution requires at least one MP to hold a ministerial portfolio until government formation is completed. But the prime minister-designate failed to convince a single MP to participate.

Sheikh Meshaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah considered that the inability to form a government was the result of the “diktats and conditions of some” MPs.

Unlike other monarchies in the region, Kuwait, an oil-rich Gulf country and member of OPEC, has an influential Parliament, even if the keys to power remain essentially in the hands of the ruling Al-Sabahet family.

The deputies, elected for four years, have important prerogatives. Their ongoing quarrels with the executive have resulted in a succession of governments and the dissolution of the Assembly more than ten times since the adoption of the parliamentary system in 1962.

Kuwait, bordering Saudi Arabia and Iraq, contains 7% of the world's crude reserves. It has one of the most powerful sovereign wealth funds in the world. However, repeated crises between Parliament and the government have prevented the adoption of reforms to diversify its economy.