- Kuwait Times Extra
KUWAIT: The new cabinet was yesterday sworn in by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to become the 10th government in the past six years and the third since Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah was appointed prime minister in December last year. The cabinet immediately held its first session and approved three Amiri decrees to implement the constitutional court ruling on June 20 which nullified the legislative polls in February, scrapped the 2012 assembly and reinstated the 2009 assembly.
The cabinet approved a decree to scrap a decree issued in December last year to dissolve the National Assembly, a second decree to cancel the decree issued last year to invite Kuwaitis to vote on February 2, 2012 and a third decree inviting the revived 2009 assembly to meet. All the decrees will have to be signed and issued by the Amir to become effective. Speaker of the National Assembly Jassem Al-Khorafi meanwhile said he will send invitations to MPs to hold a meeting on July 31 while expressing doubts that the meeting is not expected to take place for a lack of quorum.
Khorafi said the government will take part in the assembly meeting if it takes place, adding that he will call for another meeting on August 7 if the first meeting fails. After that, Khorafi said he will refer the issue to the Amir to take whatever measure necessary. The next measure is expected to be dissolving the National Assembly and calling for fresh polls unless the government decides to refer the election law to the constitutional court to see if it complies with the constitution.
No date has been given yet for dissolving the assembly and calling for fresh election though it appears that the assembly is expected to be dissolved around mid-August and the fresh election will be held early October unless the government refers the election law to the constitutional court. Several constitutional experts have said that the existing electoral law and voting system are unconstitutional and breach the constitution and warned that if the next elections are held on the basis of the current law, there is a great possibility that it might be challenges and then nullified.
But opposition figures have warned the government against such action and said that any decision on the electoral law should be taken between the government and the next assembly. Khorafi however called on the government not to heed to such calls and to quickly refer the electoral law to the constitutional court in order to prevent any challenge and the possibility of another ruling by the constitutional court to scrap the elections.
He said that Kuwait no longer bears the unstable situation it is experiencing and accordingly all measures must be taken in accordance with the law and the constitution. Khorafi also supported the idea that the electoral law can be amended through an emergency decree to be issued by the Amir, recalling that a similar measure was taken in 1981. Opposition MPs and figures have warned that any change to the electoral law or voting system will force them to boycott the forthcoming election and resort to street protests. They insisted that any change to an important law like that should be amended if necessary by the assembly and the government.
By B Izzak, Staff Writer
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