(Bloomberg) -- Kuwait’s new National Assembly will be dominated by opposition and conservative lawmakers and include two women, after an election the country’s rulers hope will help end years of political wrangling with unelected ministers.
At least 33 members in the 50-seat legislature -- the only one in the Gulf with a real say over governance -- are linked to the opposition, leaving pro-government lawmakers in a minority. Sixteen of those elected are new to the assembly.
Kuwaiti politics has been gridlocked by disputes between a rowdy legislature dominated by independents and a cabinet installed by the ruling family, holding up crucial economic reforms. But a series of recent steps to shake up state agencies and remove some officials encouraged the opposition to largely lift its election boycott.
A ban on political parties means that while opposition lawmakers have a majority, there’s no guarantee they’ll unite around a common agenda.
Kuwaiti Ruler’s Offer to End Political Gridlock Faces Poll Test
Shiite Muslim candidates now hold nine seats, a gain of three, but don’t usually work as a bloc. And two women -- Alia Al-Khaled and Jenan Boushehri -- were elected, up from none in the previous assembly.
The government must now resign and Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, 85, will then appoint a prime minister. A new cabinet must be formed within two weeks of an election.
Polls reported a higher turnout in the key OPEC member, which wields a $700 billion sovereign wealth fund.
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