Constitutional Court annuls 2022 Parliament, reinstates 2020 slate

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‘Discrepancies in dissolution decree’

KUWAIT CITY, March 19: The Constitutional Court on Sunday declared that the decree on the dissolution of the 2020 National Assembly is unconstitutional, thereby, voiding all the consequent procedures including the call for 2022 election and election results in the five constituencies. The court decided that the election process, which took place last September, was null and void due to discrepancies in the decree dissolving the National Assembly of 2020.

The court explained that the decree on dissolving the 2020 Assembly was issued based on the nocooperation letter of HH the former Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah one day after forming the government, which had yet to take the constitutional oath before the Assembly. It pointed out that under such circumstances, there was no reason to submit the letter of no cooperation as per Article 107 of the Constitution.

In accordance with the ruling of the court, the 2020 Assembly is reinstated — all its members and Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim who changed his identification on Twitter as National Assembly Speaker shortly after the announcement of the ruling. Consequently, 27 members of the 2022 Assembly lost their parliamentary seats — 11 former lawmakers and 16 who were newly elected in 2022, while 23 maintained their legislative seats as they are also members of the 2020 Assembly. The former lawmakers who lost their seats are: Ahmed Al-Saadoun, Ahmed Lari, Saleh Ashour, Ammar Al-Ajmi, Adel Al-Damkhi, Khalil Abul, Abdullah Fehad, Muhammad Hayef Al-Mutairi, Majed Al-Mutairi, Marzouq Al-Hebeini and Faisal Al-Kandari. The first-time lawmakers who lost their seats are: Osama Al-Zaid, Jenan Bu Shehri, Soud Al-Asfour, Shuaib Shaaban, Hamad Al- Bazzali, Hamad Al-Medlej, Abdulwahab Al- Essa, Yousef Al-Bazzali, Abdullah Al-Anbaie, Falah Al-Hajri, Mubarak Al-Tasha, Muhammad Al-Mahan, Hani Shams, Hamad Al-Obaid, Alyaa Al-Khalid and Khalid Al-Tamar.

In addition, MP Saadoun Hammad disclosed that he attended the Constitutional Court session, stressing the decision proved he was correct when he said the dissolution of the 2020 Assembly is unconstitutional. MP Saleh Ashour cited the speech of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on June 22, 2022 and the Amiri Speech on Oct 18, 2022 that the dissolution of the 2020 Assembly and 2022 elections were in line with the Constitution and relevant laws; but the verdict of the Constitutional Court stated otherwise. Ashour stressed the need to question the legal affairs officials at the Amiri Diwan who gave the legal advice to issue a decree on dissolving the 2020 Assembly.

He claimed some parties are keen on making the people of Kuwait condemn democracy, hinting that even the 2020 Assembly will most likely be dissolved. 2022 MP Jenan Bu Shehri affirmed that she respects the decision of the Constitutional Court. She emphasized that protecting the Constitution must be the top priority, while fair election is the safety valve of democracy.

On the other hand, MP Thamer Al-Suwait considers the verdict “dangerous and an indication that the State is in chains.” He said the executive authority contradicted the contents of the Amiri Speech on June 22, 2022 and the decision of the people on Sept 29, 2022. He added the issue entails that all citizens should bear the historical responsibility to stop such frivolity. MP Ahmed Mutei Al-Azmi called for the ratification of a law on protecting the legislature from the consequences of erroneous procedures. He underscored the need for a higher commission to review procedures to ensure they are constitutional. Moreover, prior to the announcement of the Constitutional Court’s decision, 2022 MP Shuaib Shaaban submitted a proposal to exempt expatriates, whose monthly salary is less than KD 100, from medical fees By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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