Kuwait court nullifies 2022 vote, reinstates previous parliament | News

Kuwait court nullifies 2022 vote, reinstates previous parliament | News

In last year’s polls, opposition members won 28 of the 50 seats, giving them a parliamentary majority.

Kuwait’s Constitutional Court ruled that last September’s parliamentary election, in which the opposition won, was null and void and the previous assembly must be reinstated.

Sunday’s move comes amid renewed friction between the elected parliament and government and follows the reappointment this month of the country’s prime minister, that the government has resigned in January in the standoff in parliament.

Last year, Kuwait’s crown prince dissolved parliament and called early polls in an effort to end long-running domestic political feuding that has stymied financial reform.

The September polls – the most inclusive in a decade – saw opposition members secure 28 of the 50 seats, giving them a parliamentary majority. The vote marked a victory for opposition figures, many of whom have stayed out of elections for the past decade because of what they say is interference by executive authorities in parliament.

However, Justice Mohammad bin Naji said on Sunday that the court had declared the dissolution of parliament null and void and annulled early elections held in September.

“The constitutional authority of the dissolved parliament will be restored as of the date of this decision,” he told a court session attended by reporters.

‘Invalidity of the electoral process’

Lawyer Nawaf Al-Yassin said the decision followed several electoral appeals.

“The appeals relate to the invalidity of the electoral process, the decrees calling for elections, and the decree terminating the previous National Assembly,” he told AFP news agency.

Kuwait, an OPEC oil producer, bans political parties but gives its legislature more influence than similar bodies in other Gulf monarchies.

Translation: The speech of his majesty the crown prince on June 22, 2022, and that of his spokesman on October 18, 2022, clearly stated that the dissolution and election occurred in accordance with the law and constitutional procedures. Today’s court decision shows them all wrong. Therefore, the person who provided the legal counsel must be held accountable… Kuwait does not deserve such farces.

Frequent political infighting has often led to cabinet changes and the dissolution of parliament, hindering investment and reforms aimed at reducing the country’s heavy reliance on oil revenue.

A lawmaker from the dissolved assembly, Abdullah Al-Turaiji, welcomed the move as “correcting the government’s mistake in dealing with parliament”.

Political stability in Kuwait has traditionally depended on cooperation between the government and parliament.

While the Kuwaiti leadership has responded to several opposition demands, including pardoning political dissidents, key reform proposals such as the public debt law continue to face legislative gridlock.