Reformists win, women lose in Kuwait

Islamist and reformist candidates have swept Kuwait's elections but women have failed to win a single seat in their first attempt to run for parliament.

    None of the 28 women candidates won a seat

    State media said on Friday that opposition candidates won two-thirds of the seats in the new parliament.

    None of the 28 women among a total of 249 candidates won a seat even though women make up 57% of the Gulf Arab state's 340,000 eligible voters.

    Women won the right to run for office and to vote in May 2005 in the oil-producing US ally.

    Overall turnout was strong at 65% but only 35% for women, state media said.

    The opposition were united mostly by a stand against what they called government-sponsored corruption.

    Twenty out of 29 reformist former members of parliament who formed the nucleus of the opposition alliance were re-elected to the 50-member house.

    They were joined in the National Assembly by at least 11 new members, including prominent figures in opposition circles, new Islamists and young liberals with anti-corruption platforms.

    The Islamists, who had a 15-man bloc in the previous house and led the opposition, won the same number of seats if not more, with one newspaper saying a total of 18 Islamists won.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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