Kuwait's crown prince on Wednesday dissolved National Assembly and called for early elections, a move to ease government gridlock that has paralyzed the tiny country for months.
In his televised national address, Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah said that while the ruling family respected Kuwait's constitution, popular dissatisfaction over the deepening dysfunction compelled the emir to intervene.
The domestic political scene was being "torn by disagreement and personal interests" to the detriment of the country, he added.
"Our goal with this constitutional solution is the firm and sincere desire for the people themselves to have the final say in the process of correcting the political course anew by choosing who represents the right choice," said Sheikh Meshal, who assumed most of the emir's responsibilities last year.
A date for legislative elections was not immediately announced.
The country's Cabinet resigned over two months ago over disputes with Parliament, resulting in a prolonged paralysis.
The wrangling has left many Kuwaitis deeply disenchanted with their 50-member elected legislature. Parliament is empowered to pass and block laws, question ministers and submit no-confidence votes against senior officials. However, final authority rests with the ruling emir.
Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, appeared briefly on state TV on Wednesday to say he authorized his heir to give the national address, effectively blessing the step.