Kuwait will hold general elections today for new members for the National Assembly.
In early August, Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal dissolved the Kuwaiti parliament on the basis of maintaining national security in response to the ongoing Pro-Bidun protests in the country. The Crown Prince’s unilateral decision came after a long-standing power struggle over control amongst the National Assembly and the Kuwait City government which reached a boiling point after former prime minister Khaled Al Sabah resigned.
While Kuwait stands out as the primary country in the Persian Gulf to grant a considerable amount of power to the legislature, the Crown Prince maintains the authority to dissolve parliament upon its will undermining the legislative branch. Moving forward, the strife between the National Assembly and the government is not likely to alleviate during the short-to medium term. This is largely due to Kuwait City’s heavy crackdown against demonstrations in favor of the country’s Bidun community, a stateless minority. Expect Kuwait City to arrest additional protestors moving forward, which will make it all but harder for oil-rich gulf state to reach political stability during the long-term. While this situation might spread across other Gulf States, the region’s oil market will remain unaffected.
Can is a Publisher and Analyst with Foreign Brief and currently pursuing his PhD in the Department of History at Bighampton University. His research there primarily focuses on the 19th-century Balkan independence movements.