Kuwait City, Dec 7 ():The emir of Kuwait, leading oil exporter and an important American ally, fearing revolutionary wave that turned viral in many Arab nations recently dissolved Parliament on Tuesday setting the stage for elections. The announcement came after the resignation of prime minister, Sheik Nasser Mohammed al-Ahmed al-Sabah, a member of the ruling family who faced corruption charges and protests from some of the parliament members.
“Due to the deteriorating conditions that led to obstruction of process of achievements and threatened the country’s higher interests, it became necessary to resort to the people to select their representatives, overcome existing obstacles and realize national interests,” the Kuwaiti leader said in a statement.
However, there was no specific mention on the election dates. In Kuwaiti law, the emir must call for new elections within 60 days of dissolving parliament. Also parliament in Kuwait had been dissolved many times before, most recently in 2008.
Late last month, the emir selected Defense Minister Sheik Jaber Al Hamad Al Sabah as the new prime minister, replacing the long-serving Sheik Nasser Al Mohammad Al Sabah, who had survived several no-confidence votes in parliament and was the target of opposition groups calling for his dismissal.
Ghanim Al-Najjar, a political science professor at Kuwait University, said the emir ultimately bowed to pressures from opposition groups.”The dissolution (of parliament) was one of the demands of people who have been protesting against corrupt practices for the past months,” he said.
Despite dissolving the parliament and calling for new elections, it is hard to say whether this move would calm down protests and bring a more transparent rule that would take Kuwait towards economic prosperity and betterment of the people.
It may be recalled that the opposition movement inspired by protest to throw out autocratic rulers in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya this year was on fire that the crowds overpowered guards and burst into the parliamentary chamber.