Last updated: 3 October, 2012

Kuwait cabinet recommends dissolving parliament

The Kuwaiti cabinet on Wednesday approved a draft decree calling for the ruler of the oil-rich Gulf state to dissolve the 2009 parliament, the information minister said.

Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah said the decision was taken at an extraordinary meeting of the cabinet, the official KUNA news agency reported.

The 2009 pro-government parliament was dissolved in December after youth-led street protests and allegations of corruption against some of its members but was reinstated by the constitutional court in a June 20 ruling.

The court also nullified the February legislative polls in which the Islamist-led opposition scored a resounding victory, controlling a comfortable majority.

Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah is expected to issue a decree dissolving the parliament later Wednesday or on Thursday which would pave the way to hold fresh elections within 60 days, according to the constitution.

The minister said the decision was based on the fact that the assembly failed to hold any meeting after it was revived despite being invited to meet on July 31 and August 7.

The reinstated parliament was boycotted by the opposition on the grounds that at least 13 pro-government MPs in the 50-member house faced allegations of receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes.

The government move comes one week after the constitutional court rejected its challenge against the electoral constituency law and ruled that the legislation was in line with the constitution.

The law, which divides the oil-rich Gulf state into five electoral districts, was passed by parliament in 2006 following popular rallies demanding reform of the electoral process.

Parliamentary elections were held on the basis of the law in 2008 and 2009, in addition to February 2012 which the constitutional court nullified in June on the grounds of procedural flaws.

OPEC member Kuwait has been rocked by a series of political crises since 2006 during which the government resigned nine times and parliament was dissolved on five occasions.