State News: Kuwait Court Annuls 2022 Parliamentary Election

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- A Kuwaiti court on Sunday annulled the results of a parliamentary election held last year, saying it would reinstate the previous slate of lawmakers elected in 2020.

The decision by Kuwait's Constitutional Court, reported by the state-run KUNA news agency, threw more chaos into the politics of this small, oil-rich nation on the Persian Gulf.

In its decision, the court cited "discrepancies" in the decree dissolving the 2020 parliament for its ruling.

Authorities did not immediately explain what this meant for Kuwait's parliament. Kuwait has the freest and most active assembly among the Gulf Arab states, but political power is still largely concentrated in the hands of the ruling Al Sabah family, which appoints the prime minister and Cabinet, and can dissolve the assembly at any time.

In September, voters sent conservative Islamist figures and two women to the assembly in the second election in less than two years. The election results were seen as a mandate for change amid a prolonged period of gridlock between the Cabinet and the 50-member assembly.

Kuwait's Islamist opposition accuses the government of graft and mismanagement, frequently grilling ministers over their involvement in the misallocation of public funds.

The squabbling has prevented the assembly from passing basic economic reforms, including a public debt law that would allow the government to borrow money, leading to the depletion of its general reserve fund despite its vast oil wealth.

Kuwait, which borders Saudi Arabia and Iraq, has the world's sixth-largest known oil reserves and hosts some 13,500 American troops.