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Kuwait ruler dissolves 2009 congress after reinstatement

KUWAIT CITY--Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah on Sunday issued a decree dissolving the 2009 parliament, just over three months since it was reinstated by the constitutional court, state media said.

Former opposition MPs welcomed the move but urged for another decree to set the date for snap general election and warned against amending the controversial electoral constituency law to influence the outcome of polls.

The dissolution of the assembly has been a main demand of the opposition and the action paves the way for snap polls for the second time this year and the fifth in just over six years in this Gulf state plagued by a chronic political crisis.

Parliament was dissolved for the sixth time since mid-2006 amid a political deadlock that has stalled development despite abundant cash flow due to high oil prices.

A second decree setting the date for new elections is expected to be issued soon.

“After the decree, Kuwait is before two paths,” said former prominent opposition MP Mussallam al-Barrak in a statement.

“The first is constitutional which is to call for fresh polls on the basis of the current constituency law while the second is carrying out a coup against the constitution by changing the law,” he said.

“A new decree must be issued to invite for the new election on the basis of the existing law,” former opposition MP Salem al-Namlan said on his Twitter account.

The opposition has repeatedly warned the government, led by the Al-Sabah ruling family, against changing the law through emiri decrees during the absence of parliament to influence election results.

Parts of the opposition have already pledged to boycott the election if the law is changed.

On Sept. 25, the constitutional court ruled that the law was in line with the constitution, rejecting a challenge by the government clauses in the legislation.

The law, which divides the oil-rich Gulf state into five electoral districts, was passed by parliament in 2006 following popular rallies demanding reform of the electoral process.

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