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Parliament dissolution seen as gateway to end political deadlock

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah said yesterday he has decided to dissolve the National Assembly and call for fresh polls to end the ongoing political disputes between the government and MPs that threatened national unity. This was one of the opposition’s major demands.

In a hard-hitting speech delivered on his behalf by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, His Highness the Amir said a decree will be issued “within months” to officially dissolve the assembly and call for snap polls after taking the necessary legal procedures.

“We have decided the way out of the current political scene (deadlock), with all non-agreement, non-cooperation, differences and disputes …. Is to dissolve the national assembly and call for fresh general polls,” the speech said.

He added that the decision to go back to the people will allow them to rectify the political scene marred by disputes and differences. This will be the ninth time in Kuwait’s 60 years of parliamentary democracy that the national assembly is either dissolved or suspended due to political disputes.

About 20 opposition MPs who had been on a strike in the National Assembly building for the past week, celebrated the announcement as they listened carefully to the speech on national television, they prepared to end the strike which they staged to press for the protection of the constitution.

Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem welcomed the announcement and called on the people to rally around the political leadership. The opposition-dominated assembly, elected on December 5, 2020, remained divided and saw a large number of grillings to the prime minister and ministers which forced the premier to resign.

The political crisis intensified in March after opposition lawmakers filed a non-cooperation motion against the prime minister following a grilling which forced the premier to resign in early April after 26 MPs, two more than the required quorum, said they will vote against him.

The resignation was later accepted and the premier asked to continue running the country’s affairs in the capacity of a care-taker government. In His Highness the Amir’s speech, by His Highness the Crown Prince stressed the government will not interfere in the elections nor in the election of the assembly speaker.

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