Kuwait’s Political Gridlock Is Taking a Toll

The emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, after being sworn in at the National Assembly in Kuwait, Sept. 30, 2021 (AP Photo by Jaber Abdulkhaleg).
The emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, after being sworn in at the National Assembly in Kuwait, Sept. 30, 2021 (AP Photo by Jaber Abdulkhaleg).
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Since legislative elections were held in December, Kuwait has seen continued infighting between the National Assembly—where opposition lawmakers are heavily represented—and members of the Cabinet, who are appointed by the emir and also have parliamentary seats. The prolonged standoff has ground the legislative process nearly to a halt, preventing the government from passing measures to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, including a law that would allow the state to borrow badly needed funds on international markets. Kuwait is unique among Gulf Arab monarchies in that it has relatively free elections and an active legislature that can […]

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