Kuwait’s constitutional court ruled on Wednesday the country’s Islamist-dominated parliament was elected unconstitutionally and restored the previous legislature.
The state news agency KUNA said the court declared that “the decree calling for the National Assembly 2012 election is void, and (ordered) the return of the dissolved council”. The decision comes just days after the Kuwaiti ruler suspended parliament meetings for a month amid an escalating feud with opposition lawmakers flexing their muscles in the Gulf’s first elected parliament.
The court reinstated the previous parliament, elected in 2009, which is seen as more liberal and supportive of the government. It is unclear when or if new elections will be held.
Tensions between the opposition-controlled parliament, elected just over four months ago, and the government controlled by the Al-Sabah ruling family have reached new heights during the last few years as Islamist and liberal lawmakers jostle for democratic powers.
Some members of the government have come under repeated accusations of wide-ranging irregularities. Two cabinet ministers recently quit their jobs amid corruption scandals.
Finance Minister Mustafa al-Shamali resigned last month after opposition lawmakers accused him of squandering public funds and committing irregularities.
Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Ahmad al-Rujaib also stepped down last week after MPs grilled him over allegations of irregularities.
Kuwait has witnessed a series of political crises since 2006 during which eight governments resigned and parliament was dissolved on four occasions.
Former Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah was forced to resign last year following unprecedented street protests. Parliament was dissolved a week later and snap polls held on 2 February in which the Islamists scored an impressive victory.