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Kuwait’s constitutional court declared February's parliamentary elections in which the opposition swept to victory as “illegal”. The court reinstated the previous pro-government parliament. The court ruling came days after the Emir froze parliamentary activity for one month, as tensions between the opposition and regime reached unprecedented levels.

 

The court announced that it has based its decision on the grounds that two decrees issued by the Emir "dissolving the previous parliament and calling for a fresh election were illegal”.

 

The ruling, which is final and cannot be challenged, also stipulated that "the previous parliament regains its constitutional powers as if it had not been dissolved". At least 16 members from the 50-member assembly who were members of the reinstated assembly announced their resignation.

 

The opposition led mass protests Kuwait, calling for wider reforms.

 

June 23, 2012

 

 

Analysis and Forecast: Increasing Risk


 

The events of the past two weeks are yet a further escalation of an already highly charged political climate. As predicted by Political Capital earlier in the month, the increasing level of rhetoric by the opposition has lead to the resignation of the government. However, the decision by the constitutional court to return the previous parliament that was replaced by the current one in the last elections, has lead to not unexpected protests particularly from the opposition camp. The result is that the country now lacks a functional legislature as well as a government which is all but interm.

 

The opposition have responded with unprecedented severity to the measures, most recently by rallying what the opposition said were 30,000 Kuwaitis in anti-government demonstrations. This has also lead to raising the bar of the opposition demands, including reducing the role of the ruling family.

 

With the political situation reaching a yet unprecedented level of tension, the country faces elevated risk levels of further political unrest and an increased possibility of civil unrest. The dysfunctional legislature and government will also have negative economic consequences.