The Constitutional Court of Kuwait declared on Sunday that the results of legislative elections conducted in the Gulf Arab state last September were invalid and that the previous dissolved parliament be reconstituted, news agency Reuters reported.
The verdict comes at a time when the elected parliament and government are at odds again. Kuwait’s crown prince sought to settle political squabbling last year by dissolving parliament and organising early elections in which opposition lawmakers gained ground.
However, Judge Mohammad bin Naji stated on Sunday that the court had declared the dissolution of parliament illegal and had nullified the September 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, Reuters reported.
Kuwait, an OPEC oil producer, prohibits political parties but has granted its legislature more power than comparable entities in other Gulf monarchies.
Recurrent political squabbles have frequently resulted in government reshuffles and parliamentary dissolutions, impeding investment and reforms aimed at lessening the country’s reliance on oil revenue.
After the court orders, MP Saleh Ashour tweeted: “Kuwait does not deserve such farces.”
خطاب سمو ولي العهد في ٢٢-٦-٢٠٢٢ والنطق السامي لسموه في ١٨-١٠-٢٠٢٢ أكد وبوضوح بأن اجراءات الحل والانتخابات تمت وفق القوانين والاجراءات الدستورية وحكم المحكمة اليوم يثبت بأن جميعها كانت خاطئة لذلك يجب محاسبة من قام بإبداء الرأي القانوني .. الكويت لا تستحق هذه المهازل
— صالح أحمد عاشور (@SalehAshoor) March 19, 2023
A legislator from the dissolved assembly, Abdullah Al-Turaiji, applauded the action as “rectifying the government’s error in dealing with parliament”.
Kuwait’s political stability has always relied on collaboration between the administration and parliament.
While Kuwait’s leadership has reacted to certain opposition requests, such as pardoning political dissidents, significant reform ideas, such as a public debt legislation, remain stalled in parliament.
(With Inputs From Reuters)