Kuwaiti Islamist-led opposition wins majority

Opposition secures 34 out of 50 seats in snap parliamentary elections held after anti-corruption protests in December.

    Kuwait held snap elections after parliament was dissolved among allegations of corruption in December [Reuters]

    Kuwait's Islamist-led opposition has won a landslide majority in snap polls, securing 34 seats in the 50-member parliament, officials results showed.

    The snap polls were held after the ruler of the oil-rich Gulf state dissolved parliament following youth-led protests in December over alleged corruption and bitter disputes between opposition MPs and the government.

    Sunni Islamists took 23 seats compared with just nine in the dissolved parliament, while liberals were the big losers, winning only two places against five previously.

    No women were elected, with the four female MPs of the previous parliament all losing their seats.

    Sixty-two percent of Kuwaitis cast their ballots on Thursday, up slightly from 58 per cent in the previous election
    in 2009.

    Voters punished pro-government MPs, reducing them to a small minority, especially 13 former members who were questioned by the public prosecutor over corruption charges.

    The opposition scored strongly in the two tribal-dominated constituencies, winning 18 of the 20 available seats.

    Kuwait is divided into five electoral districts, with each electing 10 politicians.

    Minority Shias, who form about 30 per cent of the native population, saw their representation reduced to seven MPs from nine, with four of them from Islamist groups.

    The recent demonstrations against the government led to the resignation of the former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who was later replaced by another senior member of the ruling family.

    OPEC member Kuwait has been rocked by a series of political crises over the past six years, leading to the resignation of seven governments and the dissolution of parliament on four occasions.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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