Kuwait’s emir dissolves parliament, cabinet resigns over oil price dispute

KUWAIT CITTY, Kuwait, Disputes over fuel price increases in oil-rich Kuwait have prompted the country’s emir to dissolve its parliament. Every member of Kuwait’s cabinet had already resigned.

An Iranian man pumps petrol into his car at a gas station in Tehran, Iran in 2012. The cost oil has been cut in half since the summer of 2014 prompting the emir of Kuwait to cut subsidies to citizens That caused dissent, prompting the emir to dissolve parliament Sunday. File photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | License Photo

Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah issued an emergency government decree Sunday afternoon “given the circumstances in the region,” BBC reported.

The emir’s decision has prompted early elections, but no date has been set. Members of parliament would otherwise have remained in office through July 2017,Al Jazeera reported.

The ruling al-Sabah family has the last word over all key decisions in Kuwait and has dissolved the legislature repeatedly over the years over various disputes.

While oil prices around the world remain low, Kuwait has cut subsidies to its citizens. One of the ways it accomplished that was to raise fuel prices by nearly 80 percent. The nation’s parliament, typically considered pro-government, has filed three requests to ask the government about the price increases.

The global price of oil has been cut in half from heights of over $100 a barrel during the summer of 2014.

Security in Kuwait has also become a major issue lately. Kuwait has recently faced the threat of attacks with the rise of the Islamic State militant group.

By Yvette C. Hammett