Kuwait set to hold parliamentary election on September 29

Kuwait will hold a parliamentary election on September 29, state news agency Kuna reported, after the Gulf state’s crown prince moved to dissolve parliament in a bid to resolve a political standoff between the government and the elected legislature.

Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmad Al Sabah, who has taken on most of the ruling emir’s duties, issued a decree calling on voters to elect a new 50-seat assembly on September 29, Kuna SAID.

New districts will be added to the electoral circumscriptions, the decree showed.

Sheikh Meshal dissolved parliament earlier this month claiming that domestic politics were being “torn by disagreement and personal interests” to the detriment of the US-allied country and Opec oil producer.

He made the move following a protest held by more than a dozen MPs inside parliament pressing the crown prince to appoint a new government.

The standoff with the cabinet has delayed the approval of a state budget for the fiscal year 2022/2023 and other economic reforms. The budget, which has to be voted on before November, had set spending at 23.65 billion dinars ($77.2 billion) compared with 23.48 billion for the 2021/2022 budget.

Political stability in Kuwait has traditionally depended on cooperation between the government and parliament, the Gulf region’s most lively legislature. Kuwait bans political parties but has given its legislature more influence than in other Gulf monarchies.

Stalemates between Kuwait’s government and parliament have often led to cabinet reshuffles and dissolutions of the legislature over the decades, hampering investment and reforms.

The last time parliament was dissolved was in 2016.

Image Credit: Hannah Mckay/Pool/AFP