GlobalThe Emir of Kuwait will impose his law, in tandem with his...

The Emir of Kuwait will impose his law, in tandem with his government

Five months after acceding to the throne following the death of Sheikh Nawaf, Emir Mechaal took the reins of legislative power, in tandem with the new government announced on Sunday. The leader will therefore have total control over the new laws, for a period which “will not exceed four years”, he assured, or the duration of a legislature in Kuwait.

Purpose of the maneuver: “revise the democratic process in its entirety” in response to “difficulties and obstacles that cannot be tolerated”, according to the Emir, who spoke in a televised speech. The objective is to put an end to the institutional blockages which are paralyzing this rich emirate located at the bottom of the Persian Gulf. Even if it means mocking the political system of this conservative country, which nevertheless has the particularity of having an elected parliament reputed to be the most active and influential of the monarchies in the region.

Spectacular turn of events

It is also from the ranks of the National Assembly that Friday’s princely twist came. The parliament elected in early April was due to meet this Monday for its first session. But several of his deputies refused to join the government that the Prime Minister-designate was trying to form, in accordance with the constitutional rule which requires that at least one deputy hold a ministerial post until the formation of the government is completed. A refusal that Sheikh Mechaal interpreted as the fruit “diktats and conditions set by certain deputies” who is accused of interfering in sovereign powers.

Fourth government since 2020, the cabinet led by Prime Minister Ahmad al Abdullah al Sabah, a nephew of the head of state, includes fourteen ministers, including the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance and Oil who remained in place.

Kuwait, a constitutional monarchy where the Al Sabah dynasty reigns, has been experiencing a deep political crisis for several years, which has forced it to evolve from government reshuffles to parliamentary dissolutions – around ten since the adoption of a parliamentary system in 1962. At issue , incessant disputes between the executive and legislative powers and dissensions within the ruling family, in particular between two of its branches, against a backdrop of accusations of corruption and conspiracy.

Economic and climate issues

This situation has become difficult to maintain while reforms relating to important economic diversification issues remain blocked and the deterioration of infrastructure and public services requires heavy investments. Enough to cause this country of 4.5 million inhabitants (less than a third of whom are Kuwaitis) to lose ground compared to its main neighbors and partners, from Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates, including the Qatar.

The Emir’s coup tends to prove that the emergency is there for this State which still draws the majority of its financial resources from the production and exploitation of oil. Kuwait is also the fifth largest holder of proven black gold reserves (one fifteenth of their total). However, among other issues, climate change requires colossal and unavoidable investments. As evidenced by the recent unprecedented floods which affected this entire desert region.

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