Court expels harsh government critic from Parliament

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (AP) — Kuwait’s constitutional court ordered the country’s most outspoken opposition lawmaker expelled from Parliament on Sunday, inflaming tensions between the government and legislature and revealing the limits of political freedom in the Persian Gulf state.

The court nullified Bader al-Dahoum’s membership in the currently suspended Parliament, citing an old conviction for insulting the late emir. The decision sparked instant fury among his fellow lawmakers, given that the country’s highest appeals court had since acquitted al-Dahoum on the defamation charges, clearing the way for him to run in last year’s parliamentary elections.

Al-Dahoum has become notorious in Kuwait for his vociferous protests against the government. In recent weeks, the discord between the country’s elected Parliament and emir-appointed Cabinet has reached a fever pitch.

While Kuwait’s Parliament is more democratic than other Persian Gulf sheikhdoms, its powers remain limited. Lawmakers can introduce legislation and interrogate ministers, though the emir retains ultimate authority and ruling family members hold senior posts.