By B Izzak
KUWAIT: An Amiri decree was issued on Monday dissolving the 2020 National Assembly that was reinstated by the constitutional court in a ruling issued on March 19. The decree was issued by HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on behalf of HH the Amir, after the draft decree was approved by the Cabinet, which met earlier in the day.
The decree said the Assembly was dissolved based on the articles of the constitution and in respect to the will of the people and to safeguard the higher interests of the country and its stability amid international and regional economic changes. It said that as a result of those reasons, it became necessary to go back to the people to choose their representatives.
The Cabinet said in a statement that it approved the draft decree after a briefing by HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf Al-Sabah, adding the Cabinet invoked article 107 of the constitution, which talks about disputes between the Cabinet and the National Assembly. The same article states that fresh elections must be held within two months of dissolving the Assembly, which means the new parliamentary polls must be held before July 1, under the scorching summer heat when temperatures soar to around 50 degrees Celsius. Local reports had expected the elections to be held in September or October, when the weather is relatively better.
After the decree was issued, outgoing Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem announced he will run for a seat from the second constituency. Ghanem had not contested the Sept 2022 elections. Ghanem said that he had repeatedly called for going back to the people to elect a new Assembly. Ghanem has led the National Assembly since 2013, but was a member of the Assembly years before that.
This will be Kuwait’s third parliamentary polls in less than 30 months and the 10th elections since 2006 amid continued political crises between the governments and MPs.
This is also the second time that the National Assembly elected in December 2020 has been dissolved by HH the Amir. It was dissolved for the first time in August last year because of political disputes between the government and the Assembly. As a result, snap polls were held in September, when the opposition scored a massive victory.
But the 2020 Assembly was reinstated eight months later by the constitutional court, which annulled the September elections and scrapped the 2022 Assembly. The judge who chaired the constitutional court which issued the ruling, Mohammad Bin Naji, has since resigned after asking for retirement.