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Kuwait parliament heading for dissolution

Kuwait reels in political uncertainty

By Safa’a Al Matari
00:00 June 20, 2012

Kuwait: Kuwait is heading for the dissolution of parliament, observers and analysts told Gulf News.

Their comments came a day after the Emir, Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, suspended the parliament for one month amid politically tense atmosphere following several requests to probe government officials.

Many view the parliament as having abused its powers while it is clear the government has found the sessions quite a nuisance. Continuous requests to probe ministers, government officials say, hinder their abilities to pursue their executive roles.

Many Kuwaitis see the suspension as an opportunity for parliament to perform its duties “responsibly” and reconsider some of their requests to question government officials.

Others say that the parliament is within its rights to regulate the power of the government and in fact obligated to do so. Yet other observers are worried about the economy, and believe that the markets are negatively effected by political infighting between the parliament and government.

For economists, the frequent tensions have become an obstacle to major projects that are expected to drive the economy forward. In the last 10 years not much progress has been made as far as introduction of new legislation to help the business community, they say.

A large segment of investors are optimistic of the dissolution of the National Assembly which, they believe, has become a burden on the economy. Faisal Al Qah’tani, a political analyst, confirms that the present Assembly seeks to satisfy voters primarily and gain popularity among minority groups by providing loans, interest waivers and wage increases at the expense of the private sector.

He said this has led to a schism among citizens who are in favour of and against the Assembly.

Hussain Al Tarrah, a citizen and expert in political affairs, sees the situation going from bad to worse as several MPs are expected to seek positions in an expected cabinet reshuffle.

While political tension has been brewing for a while, the latest decision to suspend parliament came after several MPs filed requests to question ministers including members of the royal family, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Shaikh Ahmad Homoud.


Safa’a Al Matari is a freelance journalist working in Kuwait