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Amir disbands National Assembly and imposes a four-year constitutional suspension

HH the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said he made the “difficult decision” to save the nation and put an end to ongoing crises that were derail[ing] development as he dissolved the recently elected National Assembly and suspended provisions in the constitution that call for new elections for up to four years on Friday.

A committee to amend the 1962 constitution was also established by HH the Amir, who had never before changed it.

Recently, on April 4, Kuwaiti voters returned an overwhelming majority of opposition candidates to the National Assembly.

Due to HH the Amir’s decisions, the articles in the constitution that require new parliamentary elections after the dissolution of parliament will not take place because they have been suspended for a period of four years.

The country’s constitution has been suspended three times, the first two times lasting five and six years, respectively, in 1976 and 1986.

In his statement, HH Sheikh Mishal stated that he made the difficult choice to “save the country and safeguard its high national interests.” He also stated that certain National Assembly members had gone beyond their authority to the point “that we can not remain silent.”

In 1962, Kuwait became the first Gulf state to adopt parliamentary democracy, allowing elected Members of Parliament to question and remove government officials from office.

However, the ongoing disagreements between the National Assembly and the government have clouded the democratic experience over the last 20 years.

There have been at least ten court-ordered dissolutions or annulments of the Assembly since 2006, and the same number of elections have been held. Four parliamentary elections have been held in the last four years, and the political unrest has resulted in the resignation of numerous governments.

According to HH the Amir Sheikh Mishaal, instability caused corruption to proliferate throughout all spheres of society, including the security and business sectors.

He said that he would not permit democracy to be used as a means of overthrowing the government and accused MPs of abusing democracy and the National Assembly.

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