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Emir dissolves Kuwaiti parliament

The Emir of Kuwait has dissolved parliament, paving the way for snap elections. The move was widely expected as parliament failed to hold a single meeting in the three months since it was reinstated by a Kuwaiti court.

Sunday's announcement followed an opposition boycott amid increased tensions between lawmakers, who are elected, and the cabinet, which is appointed by Emir Sabah al-Ahmed.

"The emir issued a decree to dissolve parliament," the official KUNA news agency quoted Information Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Mubarak al-Sabah as saying.

No date for an election was announced, but under Kuwait's constitution, a fresh vote must be held within the next 60 days.

The assembly that has just been dissolved was made up of lawmakers elected in 2009. It had already been dissolved last December and replaced by a new parliament following elections in February in which the opposition won control. However, in June, Kuwait's constitutional court ordered the new parliament dissolved over a technicality. It was then replaced by the 2009 parliament, but opposition MPs staged a boycott due to allegations that some pro-government parliamentarians had taken bribes. The latest parliament didn't manage to hold a single meeting.

The lack of a functioning parliament has seen legislation grind to a halt - and with it a major infrastructure plan, including a new airport terminal, oil refinery and health-care facilities.

This was the sixth time that parliament has been dissolved since 2006.

pfd/msh (Reuters, AP, dpa)