Kuwait to cut constituencies

Kuwait's new cabinet has approved a draft law reducing the number of constituencies in the Gulf state - a key demand of the opposition.

    Kuwaiti Islamists won seats in recent parliamentary elections

    The law will cut the number of constituencies from 25 to five as called for by opposition MPs who hope that this will reduce vote-buying under the old electoral boundaries.

    A previous bill recommending the changes was rejected by the previous cabinet, triggering a row that led to the dissolution of parliament and last month's elections.

    The cabinet sent the draft to the amir for approval before sending it to parliament for a vote.

    The parliament, dominated by reformist MPs, convenes on Wednesday to elect a speaker.

    The 16-member cabinet, which includes a woman minister and is dominated by members of Kuwait's ruling family, took the oath of office before the amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah.

    Two former ministers who had faced opposition allegations of corruption and blocking reforms were dropped from the new cabinet.

    Sheikh Ahmed Fahd al-Sabah, a nephew of the amir who held the key energy portfolio, and Mohammed Daifallah Sharar, who was state minister for cabinet, were transferred to new roles outside the cabinet.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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