Hostile opposition lawmakers have repeatedly took advantage of questioning sessions to accuse several members of the government of wide-ranging irregularities, and have forced two cabinet members to resign just this year alone.
Political parties are banned in the oil-rich Gulf state so lawmakers depend on forming blocs and utilise such grilling sessions to pile pressure on the cabinet, which may conclude in confidence votes that can force ministers out of office.
Kuwait has largely escaped the kind of violent anti-government protests seen everywhere else in the Middle East, but the escalating row between the cabinet and opposition MPs has the wealthy OPEC member state on edge. Having suffered a series of political crises since 2006 in which eight governments resigned and parliament was dissolved four times, the ruling al-Sabah family will no doubt do everything in its power to mitigate the political situation in the emirate.
The cabinet has issued a statement after the issuance of the Emir’s decree, stating that the decision was taken because of the “need to prepare the political scene to achieve the desired cooperation between the executive power and the legislature”.
Meanwhile, suggestions of dissolving parliament have circulated, prompting prominent opposition MP Bader al-Dahum to warn that “the opposition will mobilise its supporters” on the streets if need be.