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Kuwait opposition retains Parliament majority after vote

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Candidate Mohannad al-Sayer (C) celebrates with supporters after his victory as a member of parliament within the legislative elections in Kuwait City early on April 5, 2024.
| Photo Credit: AFP

Opposition lawmakers maintained a majority in Kuwait’s parliament, outcomes confirmed on April 5, after the Gulf state’s third parliamentary vote in as a few years held simply months into the brand new emir’s reign.

Opposition candidates received 29 seats within the 50-member Assembly, in keeping with outcomes carried by the official KUNA information company, matching the result of final 12 months’s election.

The make-up of the brand new parliament is similar to the outgoing one, with all however 11 lawmakers retaining their seats.

“No radical change was expected in the results,” stated Bader al-Saif, assistant professor of historical past at Kuwait University.

“This is one of the lowest change ratios,” he instructed AFP.

Parliamentary elections have develop into an annual incidence for the OPEC member, which has seven p.c of the world’s oil reserves and the monarchical Gulf’s strongest elected meeting.

However, clashes between the nationwide meeting and the royal-appointed cupboard have prompted fixed stalemate, delaying much-needed reforms.

With little change to the parliamentary line-up, the political deadlock is anticipated to proceed, in keeping with Saif.

“A new showdown is in the making,” he stated, including that “some of the new faces are quite outspoken”.

Thursday’s election was the primary to be held underneath the brand new emir, Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

Turnout was round 62% after polling stations closed at midnight, the knowledge ministry stated.

Sheikh Meshal, previously the world’s oldest crown prince, got here to energy aged 83 in December after the demise of his half-brother and predecessor, Sheikh Nawaf.

He took goal at each the cupboard and parliament in his inaugural speech to the meeting, earlier than asserting an period of “reform” as he picked Kuwait’s first Foreign Minister from outdoors the ruling household.

But in February, the nationwide meeting was dissolved as soon as once more, a royal decree accusing it of constitutional violations together with “offensive and inappropriate language”, after a lawmaker responded to the emir’s criticism.

Thursday’s election — the third since 2022 and the fourth in 5 years — was totally different in that the brand new parliament shall be tasked with approving Sheikh Meshal’s selection of crown prince, Kuwait’s future emir.

If the Assembly takes the unprecedented step of rejecting his inheritor, Sheikh Meshal will submit three candidates for parliamentarians to select from.

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