Kuwait court orders dissolution of parliament

16 June 2013

Controversial electoral law upheld by constitutional court    

Kuwait’s Constitutional Court has ordered the dissolution of the Gulf state’s parliament and called for new elections.

Despite invalidating the election on procedural grounds, the court has also upheld the controversial one-man one-vote decree, which was passed by the government ahead of elections in October 2012, according to state-run Kuwait News Agency (Kuna).

This means the scandal ridden parliament which was elected in 2009 will now be reinstated for a second time, ahead of an election planned for August, which will again use the one-vote system.

In June 2012, the constitutional court annulled the results of Kuwaiti elections held earlier in February, which had yield a majority to the opposition. It ordered the reinstatement of the less confrontational body elected in 2009.

Kuwait’s ruler, Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah issued a decree in October 2012 amending the electoral constituency law of 2006, reducing the number of candidates Kuwaitis could vote for from four to just one. Opposition groups denounced the move as unconstitutional, as it was not passed through parliament and designed to produce a more pliant National Assembly.

The government however argued that article-71 of the constitution allows the emir to take “urgent measures” in the absence of the assembly.

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