Saturday, October 20, 2012

Kuwait's Election Law

After the supreme court declared the previous one void based on technicalities, Kuwait will elect a new Parliament on December 1.  However, regime changes to the country's election law could lead to a boycott:
The Kuwaiti government, at an extraordinary meeting in Kuwait City on Saturday, ordered elections to held on December 1, and decided to amended the election law to allow each voter to choose only one candidate instead of four.
The opposition, including Islamists, liberals and tribal figures who won a majority in the 50-seat parliament in the last election in February, rejected the changes and called for a protest march on Sunday, said Ahmed al-Dayen, an opposition politician.
Kuwait used to be divided into, I think, 25 districts before the opposition pushed through a reform lowering that number to five.  (I thought each person got to vote to five candidates, too, but the linked article says four.)  This reform was seen as making it harder to bribe voters; you might bribe them to vote for your top candidate, but getting them to cast ballots for the top several was more expensive. I guess the theory is that by making it so that each person can only vote for one candidate, vote-buying is made more affordable and skilled pro-regime practitioners can ensure a friendlier legislature.



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