Kuwait to hold parliamentary elections on April 4, latest round of voting in years of turmoil

This is a locator map for the Gulf Cooperation Council member states: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Kuwait said Saturday it will hold elections for its national assembly on April 4, its latest round of voting after years of political turmoil.

The state-run KUNA news agency made the announcement, citing a decree published by the oil-rich country's official gazette.

In February, Kuwait’s emir dissolved parliament after a lawmaker reportedly insulted the ruler.

Domestic political disputes have been gripping Kuwait for years — including the overhaul of Kuwait’s welfare system — which prevented the sheikhdom from taking on debt. That has left it with little in its coffers to pay bloated public sector salaries, despite generating immense wealth from its oil reserves.

Parliament has been repeatedly dissolved after failing to move forward, with Kuwait’s Constitutional Court in 2023 annulling a 2022 decree overturning another such annulment. The country’s late emir then annulled that parliament again and held an election for a new parliament, which was annulled with the February decision.

Kuwait, a nation home to some 4.2 million people that’s slightly smaller than the U.S. state of New Jersey, has the world’s sixth-largest known oil reserves.

It has been a staunch U.S. ally since the 1991 Gulf War expelled the occupying Iraqi forces of Saddam Hussein. Kuwait hosts some 13,500 American troops in the country, as well as the forward headquarters of the U.S. Army in the Middle East.