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Kuwait court dissolves parliament, orders new elections

Move threatens fresh political instability in Kuwait.

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Kuwaiti opposition supporters block a major road in Kuwait City on November 30, 2012, during a demonstration against a decision by Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah to amend the electoral law. The regime has been harsher on activists lately, and has begun jailing outspoken Twitter users and internet activists. (YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Kuwait's Supreme Constitutional Court on Sunday dissolved parliament and ordered new elections, according to Kuwait News Agency

The court also dismissed appeals for changes to the electoral system following opposition-led protests over the last parliamentary elections, which were held in December, said according to BBC News

Kuwait has seen growing dissent over the emir's rule, unrest seen as part of an anti-government movement strengthening in the region. 

More from GlobalPost: How Kuwait's opposition is outsmarting the state

This will be Kuwait's second parliamentary vote within the year, said BBC, the 50-member body having been dominated by the opposition last summer but invalidated on procedural grounds. 

Meanwhile, the opposition has critcial of recent changes to the country's election law — there were mass demonstrations after amendments were passed six weeks before elections, said BBC.

The changes limited the number of candidates that can run and barred people from voting for several candidates, introducing a one-person, one-vote system that the opposition says is an attempt to smother voices of protest, according to the Associated Press

The emir says the changes were made to align the nation with laws in the region, an opinion upheld by the court on Sunday. 

Kuwait News Agency said the court on Sunday had "annulled" parliament, but the grounds for the decision were not immediately clear. 

The emir is responsible for setting the election day for the new parliamentary vote, said AP

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/130616/kuwait-court-dissolves-parliament-orders-new-elections