Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Parliament Dissolved

Emir Sabah of Kuwait has dissolved parliament and called for elections May 17. This follows a long period of wrangling between the opposition-dominated parliament and a government appointed by the emir and including several members of the royal family. One key element has been the frequent questioning of government ministers, while the government has apparently also been reluctant to approve many parliamentary measures.

The linked article quotes one Khalid al-Ali as saying that, "We badly need to establish a party system under which the government is formed from parliament on the basis of a clear programme." He's right, but think about the implications of that for a second. With the possible exception of Lebanon, Kuwait is already the most democratic Arab country. Such a step would put it indisputably within the constitutional monarchy category. What's more, I can actually see it happening during the next few years, as popular protests have already led to important political reforms that limit the emir's ability to rig the elections.



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