Kuwait cabinet moves to implement court ruling

Reinstated parliament expected to convene on July 31 or August 7

View of Kuwait’s Parliament during the inaugural session of the National Assembly’s 14th legislative term in Kuwait City on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Gustavo Ferrari)
Gulf News

Manama: Kuwait’s tenth government in six years has approved three decrees to implement a ruling by the Constitutional Court that nullified the parliamentary elections held in February, scrapped the 2012 parliament and reinstated the 2009 legislative assembly.

The country’s highest court on June 20 ruled that the decree issued in December to dissolve the parliament and the decree to hold elections on February 2 were unconstitutional.

The decision de facto eliminated the newly voted in parliament and reinstated the legislative body that was elected in 2009.

The decision waded into deep controversy after it was resisted by lawmakers of the 2012 parliament. However, it could not be legally challenged.

The new government was formed to address an increasingly complex constitutional situation.

Holding its first session immediately after taking the oath before the Emir, the cabinet, the third to be led by Shaikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Sabah since December, the cabinet moved to endorse a decree to scrap the decree issued in December to dissolve the parliament, a second decree to cancel the decree issued last year to call upon Kuwaitis to vote on February 2, 2012 and a third decree calling upon the 2009 assembly to convene.

However, all the decrees will have to be signed and issued by the Emir to become effective.

Jasem Al Khorafi, the parliament speaker, told Kuwaiti media that he would call for a session on July 31; he however expressed doubts that the parliament would convene for lack of quorum and added that he would thereafter call for a second session on August 7.

Should the second session be postponed for not meeting the forum, the issue would be referred to the Emir for appropriate action, he reportedly said.

A failure to hold a parliamentary session could result in the dissolution of the parliament and in calls for fresh elections.

Local media speculated that the dissolution of the 2009 parliament would be announced in mid-August and that fresh elections would be held in early October.

However, the government may also refer the election law to the constitutional court amid claims by several constitutional experts that the existing electoral law and voting system were unconstitutional.

Opposition members are reportedly not keen on involving the constitutional court and said that the debate on the status of the law and possible amendments should be confined to the parliament and the cabinet.