| 22 July 2024, Monday |

Kuwait crown prince says reinstated parliament to be dissolved, elections held

Kuwait’s crown prince reportedly announced on Monday that new parliamentary elections would be called in the coming months and that the parliament that had been reinstalled as a result of a Constitutional Court decision last month would be dissolved.

The long-running disputes between the government and the elected parliament in the OPEC member Gulf Arab state have impeded fiscal changes.

Parliament had been dissolved last year in a bid to end the feuding and early elections were held in September, in which the opposition made gains. The Constitutional Court in March annulled the polls and restored the previous assembly.

“We decided to dissolve the 2020 National Assembly, which was reinstated by the Constitutional Court … and we will call for holding general elections in the next months,” Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah said in an address on behalf of the ruling emir, who has handed over most of his duties to him.

The crown prince said the “will of the people” required new elections that would be “accompanied by some legal and political reforms to take the country to a new phase of discipline and legal reference”. He did not specify the reforms.

Kuwait bans political parties but has given its legislature more influence than similar bodies in other Gulf monarchies, and political stability has traditionally depended on cooperation between government and parliament.

The U.S.-allied state has strong fiscal and external balance sheets, but infighting and gridlock have hampered investment and reforms aimed at reducing its heavy reliance on oil revenues.

Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf al-Sabah, the emir’s son, had in January submitted his government’s resignation due to friction with the parliament elected last year. He was renamed premier in March and a new cabinet was announced this month.

Relations between the prime minister and the speaker of the reinstated parliament, elected in 2020, have been tense.

  • Reuters