Sunni Islamists gain in Kuwait poll

Early returns show Islamic Salafi Alliance and its allies have won at least 10 seats.

    The second time for Kuwaiti women to contest elections has been, like the first, a disaster [EPA]

    Parliament was dissolved by the ruler of the oil-rich Gulf state in March after a standoff between the government and members of parliament.
     
    More Shia legislators

    The Islamic Constitutional Movement, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, however, saw its strength cut by half to three MPs in the 50-member parliament.
      
    The number of legislators from the Shia Muslim minority increased by one to five.
      
    All elected Shia MPs are Islamists, including two members of the previous parliament who took part in a controversial rally in March to mourn Imad Mughnieh, the assassinated military commander of Lebanon's Hezbollah, sparking sectarian tensions.
      

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    Women push for change

    Analysts had predicted that sectarian divisions would play a key role in the election in the emirate, where Shias constitute one-third of the native population of just over one million.
      
    Liberals and their allies won seven seats, one less than in the previous house, while the nationalist Popular Action Bloc led by Ahmad al-Saadun, a veteran opposition figure, took four seats.
      
    Women, who were contesting the election for only the second time, failed to win any seats. Twenty-seven women were in the running.
      
    There are 22 new faces in the parliament, mostly from tribal areas.

    Kuwait says it sits on 10 per cent of global oil reserves and pumps around 2.5 million barrels per day.

    It has amassed $250bn of assets thanks to high oil prices.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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