Kuwait to hold parliamentary elections next month

Kuwait’s Emir issued a decree to dissolve the parliament on Sunday



Kuwait is to hold parliamentary elections on November 26 following Sunday’s decision to dissolve the current National Assembly.

The country’s Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, issued the decree following disputes between the assembly and government in relation to September’s petrol price increase.

Read: Kuwait ruler dissolves parliament

The decision for new elections by the country’s Cabinet will be issued in an Emiri decree and published in the official gazette Kuwait Al-Youm to signal the start of the 40-day election campaign.

Following this, candidates will have 10 days to register.

Candidates for the 50-member assembly must be Kuwaiti citizens by birth and at least 30 years old on the day of the polls.

Kuwait Times reports that almost all outgoing assembly member are expected to seek reelection.

So far, only Salafist MP Abdulrahman Al-Jeeran has said he is not contesting his seat because the group has elected ex-minister and former lawmaker Ahmad Baqer to contest in the second constituency, according to the publication.

Three cabinet ministers who are elected MPs public works minister Ali Al-Omair, communications and municipality minister Essa Al-Kandari and awqaf and justice minister Yaqoub Al-Sane have also resigned to contest the vote.

Kuwaiti law requires at least one elected member from the assembly to be part of the cabinet.

Many opposition groups are also expected to participate in the election process after boycotting the previous two polls due to changes in the voting system.

The Kuwaiti arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, The Islamic Constitutional Movement, has said it will name its six candidates this week. Others including the Islamist Ummah Principles Group are also fielding candidates.

Controversial MP Abdulhameed Dashti, who has received jail sentence totaling more than 31 years for insulting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, also said he was contemplating running in the election on Twitter, according to reports.

Sunday’s decision was not unexpected after MPs repeatedly filed requests to grill government ministers over reductions in petrol subsidies that saw some prices increase by more than 80 per cent.

Read: Kuwait’s National Assembly to be dissolved ‘within days’

It is the seventh time a Kuwaiti parliament has been dissolved since 2006.