KUWAIT CITY-Polls opened on Tuesday in Kuwait’s seventh general election in just over a decade, following repeated political crises that have undermined parliament and stalled reforms.
More than 793,000 eligible voters will have the chance to determine the make-up of the 50-seat legislature in the only Gulf Arab state to have an elected parliament with powers to hold government to account. Polling stations opened at 8:00 am (0500 GMT) and are due to close at 8:00 pm, with the results to be announced the following day. Voters queued outside in the sweltering summer heat, many of them dressed in traditional thob gowns.
“I came to perform my patriotic duty and I am hopeful that things will get better,” Maasoumah Bousafar, 64 told AFP after casting her ballot.
Kuwait’s emir, Nawaf al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, called the vote last month after he had again dissolved parliament amid a persistent deadlock with the executive branch that has deterred investment and impeded growth.
A total of 207 candidates are running for a four-year term as lawmakers, the lowest number in a general election since 1996. They include opposition figures and 13 women.
All but three of the 50 members of parliament who won in 2022 are seeking re-election.