Kuwait: Crown prince dissolves parliament, calls for early elections

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Kuwait City: Kuwait’s crown prince on Wednesday dissolved parliament and called for early elections, Khaleej Times reported.
This comes amid a feud between the government and elected assembly that has hindered fiscal reform, .
Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmad Al Sabah said in a televised speech that the domestic political scene was being “torn by disagreement and personal interests” to the detriment of the U.-allied country and OPEC oil producer.
Political stability in Kuwait has traditionally depended on cooperation between the government and parliament. The last time parliament was dissolved was in 2016.
Sheikh Meshal, who was handed most of the ruling emir’s duties late last year, said decrees would be issued for the dissolution of parliament and for “elections in coming months”.
Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad, who has the constitutional power to dissolve parliament, made a brief appearance, to say Sheikh Meshal, his half-brother and designated heir, would speak on his behalf, effectively blessing the move.
Analysts said the opposition was expected to make another strong showing in new polls without changes to electoral constituencies in a country with a cradle-to-grave welfare system and where expatriates are a big part of the workforce.
The decision comes at a time when several opposition MPs were staging an open ended sit-in at the parliament complex to press Sheikh Meshal to name a new prime minister to replace the caretaker premier. Lawmakers have also criticised the parliament speaker as pro-government.
The government resigned over two months ago ahead of a non-cooperation motion in parliament against Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid, a ruling family member who has been premier since 2019 and faced a combative parliament as head of cabinet.
Kuwait bans political parties but has given its legislature more influence than similar bodies in other Gulf monarchies, including the power to pass and block laws, question ministers and submit no-confidence motions against government officials. (UNI)


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