Kuwait: Opposition wins big in parliamentary election

28th Nov 2016
Kuwait: Opposition wins big in parliamentary election

By Mohamed Abdel-Ghaffar and Ahmed al-Masri

 

KUWAIT CITY (AA): Opposition groups have made a comeback in the Kuwaiti parliament, winning almost half of seats in Saturday’s parliamentary election.

According to official results Sunday, the opposition and their allies won 24 seats of the 50-member assembly.

Their win came after the opposition ended their boycott of the polls in protest at the government move to amend the electoral system.

The results showed that only 20 candidates of the former assembly made it into the new parliament.

The Shia Muslim minority, who makes up around one-third of Kuwait’s population, won six seats, down from nine in the previous parliament.

The polls also saw the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Constitutional Movement winning four seats, while one woman,Safa Al Hashem, was elected to the new parliament. She was elected in 2013 before resigning a year later. She was one of the 15 women who took part in the election.

Parliament still appears to be controlled by pro-government lawmakers, who have the authority to question government ministers. Power in the country ultimately remains with the hereditary emir.

A new Cabinet is now expected to be formed within a week. The 15-seat Cabinet is appointed by the prime minster, who in turn is appointed by the emir.

Saturday’s polls were called after the country’s emir dissolved parliament in October, citing “regional developments” and “security challenges”.

The last parliamentary election was held in Kuwait in 2013.
Additional reporting by The Muslim News

[Photo: A Kuwaiti woman casts her ballot during the general election at the Muhammad Alshaige school on November 26, 2016, in Kuwaiti City, Kuwait. Photographer: Muhabiri Jaber Abdulkhaleg/AA]

 

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