Kuwaiti Emir dissolves parliament over increase in fuel prices

Kuwait's ruling emir dissolved the country's parliament on Sunday afternoon
Kuwait’s ruling emir dissolved the country’s parliament on Sunday afternoon

Kuwait’s cabinet has resigned and parliament has been dissolved, triggering early elections.

The moves follow disputes between MPs and the government over fuel price increases in the oil-rich country. State-run TV cited a “lack of co-operation”.

As oil prices around the world stay low, Kuwait’s government has cut some benefits including fuel subsidies, hiking the cost of petrol by up to 80%. This led to growing dissent.

The government would have completed its normal four-year term in July next year.

MPs in the current parliament are widely regarded as pro-government but have filed three requests to ask ministers about the price rises.

After an emergency government meeting on Sunday afternoon Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, issued a decree dissolving the national assembly “given the circumstances in the region”.

The state-run television channel and news agency announced that the entire cabinet had resigned.

Kuwait’s parliament has the most powers of any elected body in the Gulf region, but the ruling al-Sabah family has the final word over all key decisions and has dissolved the legislature repeatedly in the past.

Earlier on Sunday, speaker Marzouq al-Ghanem called for early elections, saying the country faces “economic security and regional challenges” and “the only way” to deal with them was to “form a new government line-up”.

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