The Oldest And Most Powerful Legislature

Once again, Kuwait’s Constitutional Court has dissolved Parliament on Sunday and called for new elections. The same took place on June 20, 2012, when the top court annulled an opposition-dominated Parliament. The Amir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, subsequently amended the electoral system seeking a more pro-government assembly in snap elections of December 2012. The election was boycotted by the opposition and, for a short time, the Arab Spring seems to have occupied the tiny oil-rich emirate. They had cried foul as regards the constitutionality of the change to the voting system which had been ordered by the Amir. Meanwhile media again report rather on harsh punishment of traffic violators and a scandalous campaign for deportation of expatriates, Kuwait’s Asian work force, than on the lingering parliamentary crisis.

As English-language tabloid Arab Times knows,

“[t]he Constitutional Court made its ruling [dissolution of Parliament] after throwing out an opposition challenge to changes to the electoral system decreed by the emir, hereditary ruler of the oil-exporting country, head judge Youssef al-Mutawa told reporters.

“The case has international importance because political stability in Kuwait […] has traditionally depended on cooperation between the government and the elected parliament, the oldest and most powerful legislature in the Gulf Arab states.”

The Amir’s decree regarding the voting system was not challenged, al-Mutawa told reporters. So, how powerful is a toothless parliament?

17 June 2013 @ 7:10 am.

Last modified June 17, 2013.

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