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Kuwait court reinstates previous parliament

A court in Kuwait has declared the dissolution of parliament and subsequent elections void and ordered the previous assembly be reinstated.

March 20, 2023
By Ahmed Hagagy
20 March 2023

Kuwait’s Constitutional Court has ruled the parliamentary election, in which the opposition made gains, was void and the previous assembly must be reinstated.

The move comes at a time of renewed friction between the elected parliament and government and follows the reappointment this month of the country’s prime minister, whose government had resigned in the stand-off with parliament.

Kuwait’s crown prince last year dissolved parliament and called early polls in September in an effort to end prolonged domestic political feuding that has hindered fiscal reform.

However, Justice Mohammad bin Naji on Sunday said the court had declared the dissolution of parliament void and had annulled the early elections.

“The constitutional authority of the dissolved parliament shall be restored as of the date of this ruling,” he told the court session attended by reporters.

Kuwait, an OPEC oil producer, bans political parties but has given its legislature more influence than similar bodies in other Gulf monarchies.

Frequent political bickering has often led to cabinet reshuffles and dissolutions of parliament, hampering investment and reforms aimed at reducing the country’s heavy reliance on oil revenue.

“Kuwait does not deserve such farces,” MP Saleh Ashour said on Twitter after the court ruling.

A lawmaker from the dissolved assembly, Abdullah Al-Turaiji, welcomed the move as “correcting the government’s mistake in dealing with parliament”.

Political stability in Kuwait has traditionally depended on co-operation between government and parliament.

While Kuwait’s leadership has responded to some opposition demands, including the pardoning of political dissidents, key reform proposals such as a public debt law continue to face legislative gridlock.

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