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Kuwaiti leader dissolves country's parliament as political deadlock continues

Kuwait’s emir on Thursday dissolved parliament after a lawmaker reportedly insulted the ruler, the latest dissolution to strike the oil-rich nation’s legislature amid years of political gridlock.

The state-run KUNA news agency announced the decree from the country’s ruling emir, Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmad Al Jaber. It blamed “offensive and uncontrolled” utterances by lawmakers for the decision, without elaborating.


On Wednesday, the Cabinet reportedly refused to attend parliament after lawmakers refused to delete remarks by one of their colleagues that purportedly insulted Sheikh Meshal. Kuwaiti law prohibits any criticism of the emir.

Kuwait on a map

Kuwait is shown toward the top of this map of the region, bordering Saudi Arabia and Iraq. (AP Photo)

Domestic political disputes have been gripping Kuwait for years — including the overhaul of Kuwait’s welfare system — which prevented the sheikhdom from taking on debt. That’s left it with little in its coffers to pay bloated public sector salaries, despite generating immense wealth from its oil reserves.

Parliament has been repeatedly dissolved after failing to move forward, with Kuwait’s Constitutional Court in 2023 annulling a 2022 decree overturning another such annulment. The country’s late emir then annulled that parliament again and held an election for a new parliament, which now has been annulled with Thursday’s decision.


Kuwait, a nation home to some 4.2 million people that’s slightly smaller than the U.S. state of New Jersey, has the world’s sixth-largest known oil reserves.

It has been a staunch U.S. ally since the 1991 Gulf War expelled the occupying Iraqi forces of Saddam Hussein. Kuwait hosts some 13,500 American troops in the country, as well as the forward headquarters of the U.S. Army in the Middle East.



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