"Due to the deteriorating conditions that led to obstruction of process of achievements and threatened the country's higher interests, it became necessary to resort to the people to select their representatives, overcome existing obstacles and realize national interests," Kuwait's Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah was quoted by the official Kuwait News Agency as saying.
Last month, anti-government protesters stormed the Kuwaiti Parliament during debates over whether to question the country's prime minister on corruption charges.
Opposition lawmakers accused former Prime Minister Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah of illegally transferring money to accounts outside the country.
Government critics wanted the prime minister dismissed on corruption charges. Prosecutors have opened an investigation into allegations that some were bribed in exchange for supporting his administration.
Prime Minister Sabah has since resigned and was replaced by Jaber Mubarak al-Hamad al-Sahah. Kuwait's foreign minister resigned in October over corruption allegations.
The emir last month said he wouldn't dissolve the National Assembly.
Kuwait last had elections in 2009. No date was announced for new elections although Kuwait law mandates they must come within 60 days.