Kuwait court invalidates newly elected parliament

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Kuwait on Wednesday held that this year's election for the new parliament [official website, in Arabic] was unconstitutional and the previous parliament of 2009 should be reinstated, state agency Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) [official website] reported. The court's decision to nullify [KUNA report] the current parliament came only two days after Kuwait's ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] suspended [NYT report] the parliament for a month in response to escalating tensions between the more liberal, western-backed lawmakers and the Islamist-led lawmakers. The tension grew when two cabinet ministers resigned under the pressure of the Islamist-led lawmakers who tried to gain more seats. The previous parliament is seen to be more supportive of the government and Wednesday's decision is deemed to be final and cannot be appealed.

A similar ruling took place last week when the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt dissolved [JURIST report] the Egyptian Parliament [official websites] because it found that one-third of the parliament's members were elected illegally. The court, by invalidating the entire parliament, affirmed the lower court's decision of February [JURIST report] when the High Administrative Court of Egypt ruled that voting system used in the recent parliamentary election was unconstitutional. During the election, two-thirds of parliamentary seats were apportioned to political parties while the remaining ones were given to individuals. The court held that this apportionment was against the country's constitution which provides that half of the seats should be held for individuals.

 

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