Kuwait Parliament Fails to Meet Amid Boycott by Lawmakers

Kuwait’s parliament, reinstated last month by a Constitutional Court decision, failed to meet as most lawmakers boycotted the session.

Speaker Jassim Al-Kharafi adjourned the meeting until Aug. 7 and said that if there is no quorum then, he will refer the matter to Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah “to make the proper decision in this respect.” Kuwait’s new Cabinet, formed on July 19, was to be sworn in today in parliament.

Members of the opposition, including Islamists, liberals, independents and youth groups inspired by the Arab Spring, had announced their intention to boycott the session. The opposition considers the parliament to be illegal and says some of its members were involved in an alleged corruption scandal.

The current parliament was elected in 2009 and dissolved in December after a dispute over corruption allegations sparked anti-government protests. A new National Assembly was elected in February, when the opposition won most of the 50 seats, only to be dissolved on June 20 when the Constitutional Court ruled that February’s election was void and reinstated its predecessor.

Lawmakers who back the government skipped today’s session on the grounds that they don’t want to attend only one meeting in anticipation of the current parliament also being dissolved. A total of 43 lawmakers boycotted the session.

Kuwait, the fourth-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has had 10 Cabinets since February 2006 and six parliamentary dissolutions.

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