More than half of Kuwait’s members of parliament have resigned in protest at a court’s decision to annul an election that had given the Islamist-led opposition a majority. The resignations deepen the political crisis in the major oil exporter which has so far avoided the widespread dissent that has ousted heads of state in some other Arab countries. Wednesday’s ruling effectively dissolved the parliament elected in February and reinstated its predecessor, but the resignations by many lawmakers who were in the previous parliament deprives the 50-seat assembly of more than half its members, making it difficult to function. The number of resigning lawmakers had risen by Thursday to at least 26, parliamentary sources said. “It does us no honour to be part of the 2009 assembly which was brought down by the nation,” said Jamaan al-Harbish after Wednesday’s ruling, speaking on behalf of several lawmakers. “We thus tender our resignations,” he added.
Some parliamentarians and analysts compared Wednesday’s court ruling to Egypt’s constitutional court’s decision to annul the Islamist-dominated parliament earlier this month. The ruling came two days after the emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, suspended parliament in an escalating dispute between the cabinet and lawmakers, a row which threatened to stall economic planning in OPEC member which is a key U.S. ally.
At the heart of the standoff, analysts and lawmakers say, was a demand to allocate up to nine cabinet seats to parliament members and further boost their voting power on critical issues.
Full Article: More than half Kuwait’s parliament resigns | Reuters.