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Kuwait parliament hits new impasse

Speaker to submit report to Emir for “appropriate measures”

Image Credit: AFP
Prime Minister Shaikh Jaber leaves along with other members of the National Assembly after the session wasadjourned by the speaker yesterday.
Gulf News

Manama: Kuwait yesterday looked headed towards a new constitutional standoff after the reinstated 2009 parliament failed to convene for the second consecutive time.

Speaker Jassem Al Khorafi cancelled the session for lack of quorum and said that he would not call for a new meeting of the parliament elected in 2009 and dissolved in 2011, but reinstated by the Constitutional Court in 2012.

In its ruling, the court said that the decrees to dissolve the parliament and to call for fresh elections were unconstitutional and reinstated de facto the 2009 parliament.

The court’s ruling is final and cannot be challenged, but political and parliamentary figures exerted pressure to have the 2009 lawmakers boycott the sessions.

Last week, the parliament could not hold its session after only six MPs attended, well below the required quorum. Some ministers also showed up.

Al Khorafi on Tuesday said that he would submit a report on the inability to hold the parliament sessions to the Emir for appropriate action.

Several lawmakers said that they would not attend the session and cited various reasons, ranging from a death in the family to a refusal to be part of a parliament that would serve only to swear in the new government.

The majority of the lawmakers in the 2012 parliament elected on February 2 have repeatedly said that they would boycott any session by the 2009 parliament “because it has been rejected by the people and therefore there should be no interaction with it under any form.”

Al Khorafi thanked the four MPs and the nine ministers who attended the session and the 13 lawmakers who submitted formal excuses for not showing up.

Shaikh Jaber Al Mubarak, the prime minister, was reportedly present at the building, but did not enter the all.

On his way out, he was quoted as saying that all views on the issue were respected and that all Kuwaitis would work for the sake of Kuwait, Sabr news site reported.