Kuwaiti Court Dissolves Parliament
Published Wednesday, 20 June 2012 16:01 | Written by Amwal Al Ghad
Kuwait’s constitutional court ruled on Wednesday that a parliamentary election held in February was void and decided to restore the previous assembly, state news agency KUNA reported.
Leading opposition MP Mussallam al-Barrak described the verdict as “a coup against the constitution” and called for the opposition to take a united stand.
“The court declared that the Emiri decree that called for the 2012 election was unconstitutional and ordered reinstating the previous assembly,” the state-run KUNA news agency reported.
Rulings by the Gulf state’s highest court are final and cannot be challenged.
On Monday, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah issued a decree to suspend parliament for one month in an apparent bid to defuse tensions between the government and MPs.
The decision was based on an article in the constitution that allows the ruler to suspend parliamentary proceedings for a maximum of a month, said an official statement cited by state media.
The Kuwaiti Emir issued a decree in early December dissolving the parliament following youth-led street protests calling for reforms and for the sacking of former Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah.
A few days later, the emir issued another decree inviting Kuwaitis to elect a new parliament on February 2.
The court ruled that the second decree was “unconstitutional.” thus nullifying the results of the general elections in which the opposition scored an impressive victory.
The previous parliament was controlled by a pro-government majority.
Tensions have increased between the opposition-controlled parliament, elected just over four months ago, and the government controlled by the ruling al-Sabah family.
Opposition MPs have repeatedly accused some government members of wide-ranging irregularities, forcing two cabinet ministers to quit since the opposition scored an impressive victory in February snap polls.
Finance Minister Mustafa al-Shamali resigned last month following a marathon grilling in parliament by opposition lawmakers who accused him of squandering public funds and committing irregularities.
Also, the minister of social affairs and labor Ahmad al-Rujaib quit last week after MPs filed to quiz him over allegations of irregularities.