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Opposition MPs gain majority in Kuwait parliament through voting

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Kuwaitis voted to give opposition lawmakers a majority in the country’s parliament after the Gulf state held its seventh general election in just over a decade, according to results announced Wednesday.

Tuesday’s vote came after Kuwait’s Constitutional Court in March annulled the results of last year’s elections and dissolved the House of Representatives – in which the opposition made significant gains – and reinstated the previous parliament elected in 2020.

Opposition deputies won 29 out of 50 seats in the legislative body, according to results published by the official Kuwait News Agency. Only one woman was elected – opposition candidate Janan Bushehri.

The composition of the new parliament is very similar to the one elected last year and subsequently abolished, with all but 12 of its 50 members retaining their seats.

Long-time Speaker of Parliament Marzouq al-Ghanim and Ahmed al-Sadoun, who replaced him last year, have returned to parliament. It is expected that Saadoun will run for the post of Speaker of the House of Representatives again.

“Today we celebrate (the victory of) the reformist approach,” opposition MP Adel Al-Damkhi told reporters after announcing the results.

“The election results are an indication of the awareness of the Kuwaiti people.”

Turnout reached 50% one hour before polls closed, according to the Kuwaiti Transparency Society, a non-governmental organisation. Last year’s elections saw a turnout of 63%.

Since Kuwait adopted a parliamentary system in 1962, the Legislative Council has been dissolved about a dozen times.

While deputies are elected, Kuwaiti government ministers are appointed by the ruling Al Sabah family, which maintains a firm grip on political life.

Constant confrontations between branches of government prevented lawmakers from passing economic reforms, while recurring budget deficits and low foreign investment added to the gloom.

Speaking to AFP on Tuesday, Bushehri, the only new female member of parliament, said she expected “to seek stability and move forward on outstanding issues, whether political or economic.”

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