Home > Radical Islam > Kuwait: Islamists Experience Overwhelming Gains in Parliamentary Elections, Women and Liberals See Dismal Losses

Kuwait: Islamists Experience Overwhelming Gains in Parliamentary Elections, Women and Liberals See Dismal Losses


By Habib Toumi – “Manama: Kuwait has become the fourth Arab country in as many months to see overwhelming gains for Islamists and dismal losses for liberals in parliamentary elections.

It also saw a new exclusion of women from the 50-seat parliament after none of the 23 women candidates, including the four incumbents, could secure enough votes to win even though women made up around 54% of the voting bloc.

Overall change to the parliament composition over the latest one, which was dissolved in December following bitter clashes with the government, was about 54 per cent as 27 new lawmakers made their way to the green seats.

The Islamists have now 22 seats from the Salafist and Muslim Brotherhood movements as well as independent MPs.

‘This reflects a regional state of mind following the Islamists’ wins in other Arab countries,’ analysts for Al Aan news said. ‘It is reflective of the weakness and limitations of the civil society in Kuwait.’

However, liberals were, like in the other Arab countries where national elections were held, on a downward spiral and kept only one of the five seats they had in the outgoing parliament.

‘Some of the MPs are known for their attacks on other Kuwaitis and for their sectarianism and this could spell trouble,’ the analysts said.

Mohammad Al Suhaili, a Kuwaiti political analyst, said that the new formation would spell trouble.

‘Tribalism and Islamism have proven that they are undisputedly the most significant factors in the elections, way ahead of any other consideration,’ he said. ‘There will be numerous clashes between the lawmakers whose backgrounds and orientations sharply contrast as well as standoffs with the government. I do not think that this parliament will go to the full extent of its term. It is way too explosive to remain,’ the Bahrain-based analyst told Gulf News.” Read more.

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