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Kuwaitis forced to the polls yet again
May 18, 2014, 1:53 pm

Kuwaitis are expected to go to the polls in five constituencies for the second time in less than a year after the National Assembly accepted the resignations of five MPs.

MPs Riyadh Al Adasani, Abdulkarim Al Kandari, Hussein Quwaiaan, Ali Al Rashed and Safa Al Hashem quit after a motion to publicly grill the prime minister was rejected.

They claim the decision was “unconstitutional”.

It is the latest political breakdown in the Gulf’s only semi-democracy, which has had six full elections in recent years, including the most recent in July.

Parliamentary questioning of the prime minister is viewed in Kuwait as MPs’ greatest power in a semi-democracy where the majority of Cabinet members are appointed by the Emir rather than elected.

MPs regularly apply to “grill” ministers on various issues and there have been nearly 90 such sessions since the Assembly was established in 1962, according to the government.

Adasani said he was “not honoured” to be a member of the National Assembly if such a constitutional right was denied.

State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Al Abdullah Al Sabah said in a statement the government had demanded the prime minister’s grilling be scrapped because it violated the constitution and several verdicts by the constitutional court.

He denied that the government planned to end MPs’ right to public grillings.

Under Kuwaiti law, by-elections must be held within 60 days of the resignations being confirmed, however, it is expected the Interior Ministry will announce a date prior to the start of Ramadan on June 28.

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