A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Kuwait Election Results

To no one's particular surprise, the Kuwaiti Prime Minister has been reappointed to a new term in the wake of the December 1 elections. The elections, which drew widespread protests and an opposition boycott, were the second parliamentary election in this calendar year and the fifth in six years.

Readers should remember that in Kuwait the government is named by the Amir, while Parliament is often dominated by the opposition, unlike in a Westminster style system. Due to the opposition boycott, the new Parliament is dominated by the pro-government elements. Sunni Islamists are much reduced in numbers. So are representatives chosen by rhe powerful tribes, due to the new single vote system intrroduced in a controversial electoral reform. A major result of the electoral reform was a strengthening of rhe Shi‘ite representation, now 17 of the 50 elected seats. That is a reflection of the actual population balance (about one third Shi‘ite), though in Kuwait the Shi‘ites are not politically or socially unified.

Analyses of rhe results here, here, and here; a breakdown of the results by constituency here.

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