Monday, July 07, 2003

The recent elections for the Kuwaiti Parliament have resulted in massive turnover among the actual representatives, but the composition remains almost entirely Islamist and pro-government, with reports varying as to the exact size of each faction. This is being widely portrayed as a defeat for the liberals, who had aspired to significant gains. Important issues for the new Parliament include whether women should have the right to vote and whether the Crown Prince should continue to act as Prime Minister. Kuwait, of course, is not really a democracy, however, and it remains to be seen how the royal family will choose to work with the new majority, which Gulf News describes as "strong opponents of privatisation, foreign investment in the vital oil sector and all attempts to pass strict rules to monitor the numerous Islamic charity organisations."


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