Kuwait elects opposition-led parliament featuring one woman



Opposition lawmakers won a majority in Kuwait's parliament in the Gulf state's seventh general election in just over a decade, with only one woman voted into office, according to results announced on Wednesday.

The vote on Tuesday came after Kuwait's constitutional court in March annulled the results of last year's election – in which the opposition made significant gains – and reinstated the previous parliament elected in 2020.

Opposition lawmakers won 29 of the legislature's 50 seats, according to results published by the official Kuwait News Agency. Opposition candidate Janan Bushehri was the only woman elected.

The makeup of the new parliament is very similar to the one annulled last year, with all but 12 of its 50 members retaining their seats.

Longtime speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim and Ahmed al-Saadoun, who replaced him last year, both return to parliament. Saadoun is expected to run for the post of speaker again.

"We are celebrating today the (victory of the) reformist approach," said opposition lawmaker Adel Al-Damkhi after the results were announced.

The turnout reached 50 percent one hour before polls closed, according to the Kuwait Transparency Society, an NGO. Last year's election saw a 63 percent turnout.

Since Kuwait adopted a parliamentary system in 1962, the legislature has been dissolved around a dozen times.

While lawmakers are elected, Kuwait's cabinet ministers are installed by the ruling Al-Sabah family, which maintains a firm grip on political life.

Continual standoffs between the branches of government have prevented lawmakers from passing economic reforms, and repeated budget deficits and low foreign investment have added to an air of gloom.

Bushehri, the new parliament's only female member, said she expects it "to seek stability and move ahead on outstanding issues, whether political or economic."