By B Izzak

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday issued an Amiri decree suspending the National Assembly’s regular sessions for one month starting today, Feb 18, invoking article 106 of the constitution. The suspension comes as HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah is still holding consultations to form the new Cabinet, one month after the government resigned following a standoff with the Assembly.

Article 106 of the constitution stipulates that the Amir may, by a decree, suspend National Assembly sessions for a period not exceeding one month. The suspension shall not be repeated in the same annual term except with the prior approval of the Assembly, and for one time only. The suspension period will not be calculated as part of the eight-month duration of the term.

The government resigned last month, barely less than three weeks after its formation, and HH the Amir accepted the resignation on Jan 18. Six days later, the Amir renamed Sheikh Sabah to form the new Cabinet.

The last regular session the National Assembly held was on Jan 5. The government boycotted the next day’s session after three opposition lawmakers filed to grill the prime minister, which 38 MPs said they will support.

The one-month suspension will give the prime minister-designate sufficient additional time to form his new Cabinet, but this will anger opposition lawmakers who have been pressing the government to attend Assembly sessions. The presence of at least one minister is conditional for Assembly sessions to be legal.