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Kuwaitis vote for change with new parliament

Only one woman was elected, Safa Al Hashem, who has served in two previous parliaments

Image Credit: AFP
Kuwaiti candidate and former parliament speaker Marzouq al-Ghanem (C), celebrates with his supporters following the announcment of his victory in the parliamentary election, in Kuwait city, early November 27, 2016. Kuwait opposition groups and their allies had bagged nearly half parliament's 50 seats, raising fears of fresh political wrangling in the oil-rich Gulf state. / AFP / Yasser Al-Zayyat
Gulf News

Manama: Kuwaiti men and women have voted for massive change, endorsing 30 new names, a combination of MPs who sat on previous parliaments and new faces.

Shiite candidates lost big, having won only six seats compared to the nine previously held.

While Salafist candidates did not do well, eight Islamists won seats.

Nine of the elected lawmakers were members of the opposition that boycotted the elections in December 2012 and July 2013 to protest against the amendment of the electoral law that slashed the number of candidates a voter could elect from four to one.

Two former lawmakers and ministers, Yaagoob Al Sana and Ali Al Omair, were unable to secure enough votes in the third district to resume their parliamentary roles.

The 60 per cent change announced by the official news agency Kuna was the medium between the 80 per cent change in the fourth electoral district where only two of the 10 lawmakers were re-elected and the 40 per cent change in the second district where six 2013-2016 lawmakers, including Speaker Marzooq Al Ghanem, were re-elected.

Kuwait is divided into five electoral districts and the top ten achievers in each of the district become the lawmakers for a four-year term.

Only one woman was elected, Safa Al Hashem, who came fifth on the list of the winners of the third district.

Al Hashem, 52, made history by becoming the only woman in Kuwait to win in three elections.

Another candidate who made history was Ahmad Al Azemi who won all the ballots cast in one polling station in the fifth district, blanking out all his rivals.

According to Al Nahar daily, 27 tribal candidates won seats in the elections.

Most incoming MPs were aged 50 and 10 MPs were aged between 30 and 39.

The youngest are Abdul Wahab Al Babteen and Nasser Al Dossari who were born in 1986 while Hamad Said Al Harshani, at 71, is the oldest.