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Kuwait opposition, allies win nearly half of parliament

The opposition and its allies won 24 seats, according to official results announced on Sunday

Image Credit: AFP
Kuwaiti Islamist candidate and opposition leader Waleed Al Tabtabaee (C) celebrates with his supporters following the announcment of his victory in the parliamentary election, in Kuwait city, early November 27, 2016.

Kuwait City: Kuwait opposition groups and their allies had bagged nearly half parliament's 50 seats Sunday.

The opposition and its allies won 24 seats, according to official results announced by the election authority.

The Islamist, nationalist and liberal opposition contested Saturday's election after a four-year boycott protesting the government's amendment of the key voting system.

Around half of the successful opposition MPs are Islamists from a Muslim Brotherhood-linked group and Salafists.

Only one woman was elected and the Muslim Shiite minority was reduced to six seats from nine in the previous house. A third of the new parliament are new young members.

The polls saw a turnout of around 70 percent amid divisions over cuts in subsidies due to falling oil revenues.

Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah called the snap polls after dissolving the previous parliament due to a dispute over raising petrol prices.

Kuwaiti voters dealt a heavy blow to members of the outgoing parliament, retaining only 40 percent of them as two of three cabinet ministers failed in their bid for re-election.

A majority of those elected have openly said they will oppose any austerity measures by the government to boost non-oil income.

The government's overwhelming control in the previous assembly has been reduced to a fragile majority.