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An early parliamentary election was held in Kuwait on 17 May 2008 after the Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah dissolved the National Assembly of Kuwait on 19 March 2008 over constant clashes between the government and the elected MPs.[1] The last elections were held less than two years previously and saw a loose alliance of reformists and Islamists gain almost two thirds of the seats.[2]

361,685 Kuwaitis were eligible to vote, more than half of them women; 27 of the 275 candidates were women.[3][4] None of the female candidates won.[5]

New rules introduced for this election have changed the 25 constituencies electing two to five electing 10. This was a demand of the reformist Kuwaiti Orange Movement, which led mass demonstrations in 2006, who believed the change would impede vote buying electoral frauds.[6]

A leading theme in the election was inflation, which hit a record high 9.5% four months before the election. Many candidates in the election proposed increased governmental subsidies to be funded by oil profits.[7]


e • d  Summary of the 17 May 2008 National Assembly of Kuwait election results
2006 2008 change
Islamic Bloc (Sunni) (incl. Hadas) 17 21 +4
Shia + Popular Action Bloc (opposition)
9 9 0
Liberals and allies 8 7 –1
Independents (pro-government strong families and tribal members) 16 13 -3
Total (turnout 80%) 50 50
Source:, Al Jazeera English




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