Kuwait court nullifies 2022 election, retains previous parliament

The Kuwaiti constitutional court, on Sunday (March 19) nullified the parliamentary elections held in September and ruled in favour of reinstating the previous parliament, said the state media. Last year’s legislative elections are said to be the most inclusive one in the past decade or so. It was also marked by the opposition making significant gains and clinching the parliamentary majority.

“The Kuwaiti Constitutional Court issued a verdict on Sunday annulling the results of the 2022 National Assembly elections”, reported the official KUNA news agency, as per AFP. The move was also made citing discrepancies in the decree dissolving the previous parliament, said the state media report. 

It added, the court also ruled to reinstate the parliament that was elected in 2020 but dissolved following orders by the crown prince in June. This comes after Kuwait’s crown prince had dissolved the parliament last year and called for an early election in a bid to end the prolonged domestic political feuding which was hindering fiscal reform in the oil-rich Gulf state. 

“The constitutional authority of the dissolved parliament shall be restored as of the date of this ruling,” said Justice Mohammad bin Naji on Sunday. The country which is also an OPEC oil producer and one of the world’s biggest oil exporters has banned political parties but has given its legislature more influence than similar bodies in other Gulf monarchies.

The most inclusive voting last year also led to the opposition members, many of whom had previously opted out of polls for a decade or so over what they believe was alleged meddling by the executive authorities over parliament. Out of the 50 seats in the Kuwaiti parliament, 28 were won by opposition members in the election. 

Notably, while Kuwait is the only Gulf Arab state with a fully elected parliament, political stability in the country has typically depended on cooperation between the government and parliament. However, the country has also witnessed repeated political crises which have led to the paralysing of the state and disputes with the cabinet. 

(With inputs from agencies) 


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