Kuwait: Emir suspends parliament for a month

Kuwait City: The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmed Al Sabah, issued an Amiri decree on Wednesday, suspending the National Assembly (parliament) for one month as of February 18, Kuwait’s state agency KUNA reported.

###

The move comes after tensions have been rising between the government and parliament.

###

The government, which reigned a month ago, has still been carrying out their duties as a new government has yet to be formed. There is no constitutional mandate that dictates how soon a new government should be formed.

###

Since the government registration, parliament has not held any sessions except a special session which took place on Tuesday to discuss matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

###

Although no sessions have been held in a month, the parliamentary committees have been functioning as the government is not involved in the inner works of the committees.

###

Constitutional right

###

This is the first political challenge the Emir faces since he took power back in September.

###

Based on article 106 of the Kuwaiti Constitution, the Emir may, by decree, suspend parliament for a period not exceeding one month.

###

The last parliament that was suspended was almost a decade ago, back in 2012 by the late Emir Sheikh Sabah after a session was scheduled to question the former minister of interior.

###

It is unclear what is to happen next but it is not far fetched that the Emir dissolves parliament, according to article 107, as in the past a suspension precluded a dissolution.

###

Heightened tensions

###

The government handed in its resignation, less than a month after it was formed, back on January 12. According to the KUNA, the government handed in their resignation, “in light of developments in the relationship between the National Assembly and the government, and what the national interest may warrant.”

###

One of the main disputes between the government and the parliament was the motion to interrogate the prime minister.

###

On January 5, three MPs, Bader Al Dahoom, Thamer Al Suwait and Khaled Al Moanes, put forth a motion to interrogate the prime minister.

###

They filed the motion under a couple of clauses, one of which that the prime minister failed to adhere to article 98 of the Kuwaiti Constitution which states, “upon formation, every Ministry shall submit its program to the National Assembly and the Assembly may express whatever comments it deems appropriate thereon.”

###

Unprecedented move

###

A day later, 38 MPs agreed to the interrogation, setting an unprecedented move as it was the first in time in Kuwaiti history that the majority of the MPs favor a motion before the session even occurs.

###

The motion to interrogate Sabah Al Khaled was filed a day before a scheduled parliamentary session, therefore the government did not attend the meeting with intention of resigning.

###

An interrogation session was scheduled for January 19 but was cancelled given that the government resigned.

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *