23 women among 286 candidates in Kuwait’s parliamentary elections

January 27, 2012

Kuwait’s electoral commission said that 286 candidates would run in the parliamentary elections next week.

The final figure was announced hours after the January 25 deadline given to those who wished to pull out of the race for the 50 seats in the parliament.

The figure includes 23 women who will seek to improve the record of four women who made history in 2009 after they became the first women to be elected.

The Third Constituency has the highest number of contenders at 67, followed by the First Constituency with 62, the Second Constituency with 61. The Fourth Constituency was fourth with 49, two more than the Fifth Constituency.

The Commission said that 398 people had signed up their names to run in the elections, 80 from each the First Constituency and the Second Constituency, 84 from the Third Constituency, 76 from the Fourth Constituency and 78 from the Fifth Constituency.

However, 108 opted out of the race over the three-week period accorded under the elections law. The Fifth Constituency had the highest pullout with 29, followed by the Fourth Constituency with 27, the Second Constituency with 19, the First Constituency with 17 and the Third Constituency with 16.

Four candidates had their hopes shattered after they were barred from running in the quadrennial elections. Two were from the Fifth Constituency, one from the First Constituency and another from the Third Constituency.

Around 400,000 Kuwaitis are scheduled to cast their ballots on February 2 to elect their 50 representatives. Kuwait has the oldest parliament in the region, but its open clashes with the government have resulted in its dissolution on seven occasions and in calls for new elections.

The latest dissolution was announced on December 5, 2011, three years and a half after it was elected on May 16, 2008. Jassem Al Kharafi, its outgoing Speaker, is not running in the elections.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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