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Kuwait To Hold General Election After Crown Prince Dissolves Parliament

Kuwait’s Crown Prince Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah dissolved the National Assembly, the country’s 50-member parliament, on Wednesday, and called for an early general election, the state-run Kuwait TV reported. A date for the election has not been announced. Emir Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah will issue an official decree on parliament’s dissolution in the upcoming few months, the crown prince said. The move is intended to break the gridlock that has fed popular opposition and paralyzed the country’s politics for months. The country’s cabinet resigned over two months ago over disputes with parliament, and over a dozen lawmakers began a sit-in last week inside the parliamentary chamber. In a televised address, the 81-year-old crown prince said that while the ruling family respected Kuwait’s constitution, popular dissatisfaction over the government’s growing dysfunction compelled the emir to intervene. Kuwait’s constitution gives parliament more power than in other Arab Gulf states; the National Assembly is empowered to pass and block laws, question ministers and submit no-confidence votes against senior officials. Final authority, however, rests with the emir.