Kuwait court dissolves Parliament, forcing new elections

KUWAIT CITY (AP) - Kuwait says its Constitutional Court has dissolved the current Parliament after challenges to ballot rules, forcing new elections that could reopen political showdowns and clashes in the Gulf nation.

The ruling follows challenges to the voting law in December's election, which was boycotted by opposition groups and others who claimed the new rules favored Kuwait's ruling family and were imposed without public debate.

The official Kuwait News Agency said Sunday the court's decision "invalidates" the 50-member chamber.

But the pro-government Al Watan newspaper said the court let stand the voting regulations, which raises questions about whether Kuwait's political battles could escalate.

Kuwait allows the most political openness among the Gulf Arab states, and opposition groups have sharply stepped up pressures on the Western-backed ruling family in recent years.

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