Sunday, October 16, 2016

Kuwait’s Ruler Dissolves Parliament, Citing Security and Oil Prices

In his decree, Kuwait’s ruling emir, Sheikh Sabah al­Ahmed al­Sabah, said “regional circumstances” and “security challenges” had prompted the dissolution of Parliament. However, this is questionable given the fact that this decree came a few hours after government officials held an emergency meeting. They had planned to question numerous government officials in the coming weeks about subsidy cuts. The security challenges are ambiguous but the regional circumstances are more of economic ones it seems. Kuwait is a petro-state where price of oil is consistently dropping which has lead to growing dissent since, "government ­subsidized gasoline prices have been raised, and other benefits have been cut". The dissolution has also caused the elections to occur earlier. The dissolution of parliament keeps democracy at bay since the questioning of government officials can't take place. To me this situation speaks perfectly to the first law of petropolitics, where the pace of democracy and the cost of oil move in two opposite directions.

-AC Christopherson

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