Kuwait voters punished govt for graft: analysts – Arab Spring in Kuwait: Voters Punish Ruling Party | DC
Arab Spring in Kuwait Has Strong Democracy for Arab World But Weaknesses Remain | Democracy, elections, and voting at Democracy Chronicles
The election victory by the Islamist-led opposition in Kuwait reflects public frustration with corruption, coupled with the rise of tribal power and unprecedented street protests, analysts say.
Voters in the Gulf emirate harshly punished the previous government and its allies over corruption charges that implicated at least 13 MPs, with fingers also pointed at senior government officials, they said.
Women, who made history in the 2009 vote by winning four seats for the first time, failed to win a single seat, paying the price for the blind support of most of the female MPs for the government, the analysts said.
The Islamist-led opposition won a majority 34 seats in the 50-member parliament in Thursday’s snap election, with 21 seats won by tribal candidates, half of them Islamists.
Islamists won a total of 23 seats.
“It’s a triumph for Islamists and tribes combining to oppose the government … and a punishment for the previous government over allegations of corruption,” independent political analyst Ayed al-Manna told AFP.
Tribes, which constitute 55 percent of Kuwait’s 1.17-million population, were historically the main supporters of the government and the Sabah ruling family, but that has changed in recent years.
Manna said the unprecedented youth-led street protests, inspired by the Arab Spring, played a decisive role in the opposition’s victory.