Kuwait crown prince says parliament will be dissolved again

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Kuwait’s crown prince has said its parliament again will be dissolved and new elections planned for the country after a court decision reinstated lawmakers from 2020.

Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmed Al Jaber made the announcement Monday in an address to the nation as the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan draws to an end this week. He called the decision the will of the Kuwaiti people, according to the state-run KUNA news agency.

Sheikh Meshal cited a Kuwaiti law allowing its emir to dissolve parliament, though it was him making the speech in the place of the country’s 85-year-old ruler, Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah.

In March, Kuwait’s Constitutional Court threw out a 2022 election for parliament, citing “discrepancies” in the decree dissolving the 2020 parliament for its ruling. That briefly reinstated the former lawmakers.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the order Monday took effect immediately, though analysts had expected parliament to be dissolved. Elections were to be scheduled within the next two months, the 82-year-old Sheikh Meshal said.

Kuwait has the freest and most active assembly among the Gulf Arab states, but political power is still largely concentrated in the hands of the ruling Al Sabah family, which appoints the prime minister and Cabinet, and can dissolve the assembly at any time. Meanwhile, political squabbling has affected the country’s economy, stopping it from passing a law allowing Kuwait to borrow money.

Kuwait, which borders Saudi Arabia and Iraq, has the world’s sixth-largest known oil reserves and hosts some thousands of American troops.

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