Opinion polls last year saw opposition members win 28 seats out of 50, giving them a parliamentary majority.
Kuwait’s Constitutional Court ruled that the parliamentary elections held last September, in which the opposition made gains, are invalid and that the previous assembly must be rerun.
Sunday’s move comes at a time of renewed rifts between the elected parliament and the government and follows the reappointment of the country’s prime minister this month. His government resigned In January in confrontation with parliament.
And last year, Kuwait’s crown prince dissolved parliament and called early elections in a bid to end the protracted internal political feud that has impeded financial reform.
September Polls – the most comprehensive in a decade The opposition won 28 seats out of 50, giving them a parliamentary majority. The vote represented a victory for opposition figures, as many of them remained out of the elections in the past decade due to what they claimed was interference by the executive authorities in Parliament.
But Judge Mohamed Bennaji said on Sunday that the court declared the dissolution of parliament invalid and annulled the early elections held in September.
“The constitutional authority will return to the dissolved parliament as of the date of this ruling,” he said in the court session, which was attended by journalists.
‘nullity of the electoral process’
Lawyer Nawaf Al-Yassin said that the ruling came after several electoral appeals.
“The appeals relate to the invalidity of the electoral process, decrees calling for elections, and the decree dissolving the former National Assembly,” he told AFP.
Kuwait, an oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), bans political parties but has given its legislation more influence than similar bodies in other Gulf countries.
The President and the Presidential Council affirmed that the 2016 elections and presidential elections deserve these charades
– Saleh Ahmed Ashour (@SalehAshoor) March 19, 2023
translation: The speech of His Highness the Crown Prince on June 22, 2022 and his spokesperson on October 18, 2022 clearly stated that the solution and elections took place in accordance with the law and constitutional procedures. Today’s court ruling shows that they were all wrong. Therefore, it is necessary to hold the person who provided the legal advisor accountable… Kuwait does not deserve such a farce.
Frequent political wrangling has often led to cabinet reshuffles and the dissolution of parliament, hampering investment and reforms aimed at reducing the country’s heavy dependence on oil revenues.
Abdullah Al-Turaiji, a representative of the dissolved parliament, welcomed the move, describing it as “correcting the government’s mistake in dealing with Parliament.”
Political stability in Kuwait has traditionally depended on cooperation between the government and parliament.
While the Kuwaiti leadership has responded to some of the opposition’s demands, including amnesty for political opponents, major reform proposals such as the public debt law still face a legislative crisis.