Decision looms on Kuwait's July 27 election

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A general view shows the opening session of Kuwait's parliament in Kuwait City. (AFP/Getty Images)

A general view shows the opening session of Kuwait's parliament in Kuwait City. (AFP/Getty Images)

Kuwait’s Constitutional Court will decide on July 14 whether to suspend the country’s snap election after concerns were raised that it will not be legal.

Lawyer Adel Abdulhadi has submitted a petition to the court arguing the Cabinet did not have the power to set a new poll date because under Kuwaiti law it must have an elected representative from the National Assembly to make decisions.

The assembly was sacked last month after the Constitutional Court ruled the December 2012 election was null and void. That left only government members appointed by the prime minister.

State Minister for Assembly Affairs and Planning Rola Dashti, who is a member of the government, was elected to the assembly in 2009 and could be considered the sole elected Cabinet member.

However, Abdulhadi said that would mean the entire 2009 assembly would have to be reinstated.

That assembly was twice dissolved, in December 2011 and October 2012.

The court received a similar petition on Sunday and would immediately begin reviewing the arguments, according to Kuwait Times.

The separate petition was filed earlier this month with the Administrative Court demanding the election be postponed until after September 18, when the Constitutional Court is expected to provide legal reasoning for its decision to sack the December assembly.

A date is yet to be set to hear arguments supporting this petition.

The new election is due July 27 and would be the country’s fifth in as many years.

The 2009 assembly was first dissolved in December 2011 following street protests led by the opposition.

A new election was held in February the following year but nullified on June 20, 2012, meaning the 2009 assembly was reinstated, only to be nullified again less than four months later.

The Constitutional Court also last month upheld a change that moves the country to a one-vote system, which is controversial among opposition supporters who claim it goes against them.

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Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Mark Rivers

You will be viewed by your development process, not your parliamentary process. The parliamentary process should support a development plan, which I believe has been submitted to past parliaments many times, for example, your airport project has been voted down three times and still lies on the Parliament floor. It is not about one vote or four votes, it is about one nation.

Posted by: Mark Williams

Laila Johns comment hit the nail on the head!. Where else in the world does one visit a supposedly wealthy countries airport to find mass chaos an old ticket system and a queue to have your passport photocopied!!!. Where does all of the revenue from oil generated go? Roads are terrible, infrastructure crumbling! The perception of corruption in Kuwait is very strong indeed. Internal investement seems to be, well, somewhat lacking! Its a shame as it could be a very nice place, I hope things change and things start moving from a constitutional and reinvestement point of view.

Posted by: John Kern

With a collapsed stock market, loads of empty office space in the country, Kuwait doesn't seem to be 'open for business'. Many analysts blame the Parlament system on the stalled development plan, so it appears that in order to see some movement in the country, there needs to be a restructuring of the Parliament and maybe they should discuss this before holding new elections? How long can this country continue on this path of stalled development plans and dissolved Parliaments? Is this democracy Kuwait-style? It certainly is not what we have in the West, because in the West our democratic systems of government work for the nation, if it doesn't then the people have a voice. Will the new election which is due to be on July27 be held? NO, it will not be held on July27 for a number of reasons.

Posted by: Laila

Can you NOT read properly?

Kuwait has a Constitution, under the Constitution a democratically elected representative of the National Assembly Parliament is supposed to make the decision regarding the election date.

The National Assembly was dissolved the first time because voting procedures did not match up to international standards. In the vast majority of countries in the world, people have ONE vote for an MP not FOUR votes in one election.

The parliament was suspended again last month because the opposition strongly opposed it. The Constitutional Court is merely trying to appease the opposition.

The election may not be held on July 27 because a lawyer who is a member of the opposition issued a petition against the election. The opposition want to boycott the election until they get to vote FOUR times. They're unhappy about the voting amendment, that was approved by the judicially independent Constitutional Court.

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