Kuwait: the opposition wins the legislative elections, two women elected

Kuwït: the opposition wins the legislative elections, two women elected

UPDATE DAY

The opposition, which had boycotted legislative elections for the past decade in Kuwait, won the majority of seats in Thursday's poll, which saw two women enter parliament, according to the results official released on Friday. 

Opposition candidates, several of whom come from Islamist groups, won 28 of the 50 seats in Parliament, beating 20 former deputies, including three ex-ministers, during these legislative elections, the sixth in ten years.

The tenor of the opposition, Ahmad al-Saadoun, who chaired the assembly three times, was among the winners with 12,000 votes.

Among the 22 candidates who were in the running, two women – former minister Jinane Bouchehri and Alia Al-Khaled – entered the hemicycle. Kuwaiti women, who are very active in civil society, lost their only representative in the last elections in December 2020.

In addition, two candidates who are serving prison sentences also won seats, a first in Kuwait. Hamid Mehri al-Badhali and Marzouk al-Khalifa are notably accused of having illegally participated in partial elections.   

Unlike other states in the region, Kuwait has a dynamic political life, with a Parliament — elected for four years — endowed with broad legislative powers and where debates are often lively.

However, this oil-rich country has been rocked for years by repeated political crises that have hampered its attempts at economic reform. 

Among the main exporters of crude oil in the world, Kuwait is led by the ruling family of Al-Sabah which retains the keys to power even if elected officials have important prerogatives, not hesitating to hold ministers belonging to the royal family to account accused of mismanagement or even corruption. < /p>

Political parties are neither banned nor recognised, but many groups, including Islamists, act as de facto political formations.

Opposition figures had boycotted the elections in the past ten years, depl acknowledging executive interference in the legislature.