Oppn gains parliamentary majority in Kuwait | india | Hindustan Times
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Oppn gains parliamentary majority in Kuwait

Islamists won 21 of the 50 parliamentary seats at Thursday's polling, making them the main political bloc in the new set-up.

india Updated: Jun 30, 2006 12:22 IST

Kuwaiti opposition candidates, led by Islamists, have gained a parliamentary majority following historic elections here in which women participated for the first time but won no seats, according to official results announced on Friday.

Islamists won 21 of the 50 parliamentary seats at Thursday's polling, making them the main political bloc in the new set-up. In total the Islamist-dominated opposition won 33 seats, four more than in the previous parliament.

The 33 seats were necessary to secure an absolute majority in the chamber, because 15 of the 16 cabinet ministers are ex-officio members who have the right to vote despite being unelected.

Despite women voting and standing for election for the first time - and making up the majority of voters - there were no female winners in the oil-rich Gulf State vote.

In yesterday's voting, two women topped 1,000 votes but were beaten by male rivals.

Seventeen of the successful Islamist candidates are Sunni Muslims, with the Shia representation down by one seat to four.

The opposition camp can also count on the support of three independent deputies to back their call for the number of constituencies to be reduced from 25 to a mere five.

It was this contentious issue that led to the dissolution of the previous chamber in May.

The number of pro-government deputies fell from 19 to 13, according to the official results announced by the presiding magistracy early today.