Manama: Kuwait will hold parliamentary elections on November 26, the cabinet decided on Monday.
Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah dissolved the parliament on Sunday. It was the ninth time that the parliament was dissolved since the start of parliamentary life in the northern Arabian Gulf state in 1962.
Only six elected parliaments have lasted their full terms. The first dissolution occurred on August 29, 1976 upon the order of Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah following sharp disagreements between the government and lawmakers. The parliament was stalled until 1981.
The second time the parliament was dissolved was on July 3, 1986 following “deep divisions and threats to national unity.” Kuwait remained without a parliament until elections were held in October 1992.
The third dissolution occurred on May 4, 1999 on the grounds of “abuses of parliamentary tools and the selection of tension and confrontations over positive dialogues.”
The parliament elected on July 5, 2003 was dissolved on May 21, 2006 following “deep divisions, mutual accusations and damages to the country’s higher interests.”
The fifth was on March 19, 2008 as a result of clashes between the legislative and executive branches.
One year later, on March 18, 2009, the parliament was dissolved for the sixth time, with the decree citing “non-compliance with the constitution and the laws.”
The seventh was on December 6, 2011 after parliamentary life was hit by a severe political crisis that “stalled achievements and threatened the country’s higher interests.”
Elections were held on February 4, 2012 and the opposition, mainly an Islamist-tribal coalition, won 34 of the 50 seats while the women lost their seats.
However, the Constitutional Court, the highest court in the country, rejected them, dissolved the newly-elected parliament and reinstated the parliament elected in 2009. However, the reinstated parliament failed to convene for lack of the required quota.
The eighth dissolution was on October 7, 2012 as a consequence of the failure of the lawmakers to show up at the sessions and reach the required quota.
Elections, in which voters could cast only one ballot instead of four as in the previous polls, were held on December 1, 2012 resulting in the parliament that was dissolved on Sunday.