News ID: 115810
Publish Date : 07 June 2023 - 22:53

Opposition Retains Majority in Kuwait Vote, One Woman Elected

Opposition lawmakers won a majority in Kuwait’s parliament with only one woman elected, results showed on Wednesday, after the Persian Gulf state’s seventh general election in just over a decade.
The opposition figures include independent politicians not tied to the ruling family who are pushing for a raft of reforms.
The vote on Tuesday came after Kuwait’s constitutional court in March annulled the results of last year’s election -- in which the opposition made significant gains -- and reinstated the previous parliament elected in 2020.
Opposition lawmakers won 29 of the legislature’s 50 seats, according to results published by the official Kuwait News Agency. Only one woman was elected -- opposition candidate Janan Bushehri.
The make-up of the new parliament is very similar to the one elected last year and later annulled, with all but 12 of its 50 members retaining their seats.
This has sparked concerns that the legislature may once again find itself locked in disputes with the cabinet, further deepening a political crisis that has delayed reforms and hampered growth.
“The government has to contend with a more combative parliament than the already combative 2022 version,” said Bader al-Saif, assistant history professor at Kuwait university.
“Therefore, expect bumps in the road unless radical reforms unfold,” he told AFP.
Longtime speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim and Ahmed al-Saadoun, who replaced him last year, both return to parliament. Saadoun is expected to run again for the post of speaker.
Parliament’s first session is scheduled to take place on June 20.
“We are celebrating today the (victory of the) reformist approach,” opposition lawmaker Adel Al-Damkhi told reporters after the results were announced.
“The election results are an indication of the awareness of the Kuwaiti people.”
Turnout reached 50 percent one hour before polls closed, according to the Kuwait Transparency Society, a non-government group. Last year’s election saw turnout of 63 percent.
Since Kuwait adopted a parliamentary system in 1962, the legislature has been dissolved around a dozen times.