Kuwaiti general election, 2009

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An early parliamentary election was held in Kuwait on 16 May 2009,[1] the country's third in a three-year period.[2] Kuwait had voted on six occasions between 1991 and 2009.[3] The turnout rate was 50%.[4] The election was notable in that four women were elected for the first time since Kuwait gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961.


The Constitutional Court dissolved the National Assembly of Kuwait on 18 March 2009 over accusations of supposed abuse of democracy and threats to political stability. The government had resigned just two days before to evade questioning in parliament.[5][6] Suggested solutions to this recurring problem (government resignation) include the formation of a government without any members of the royal family (a so-called "popular government"), thus making the possibility of parliamentary questioning a reality, or appointing the crown prince as PM, which would make parliamentary questioning sufficiently unlikely so that it would not be a problem any more.[3]


210 candidates attempted to win 50 seats.[7] 16 were female.[7]


The results were announced on 17 May 2009. Liberals won at least 8 seats while Independent candidates won 20 seats. Four elected female MPs won.[2][7] Four women were elected in the parliament.[2] Aseel al-Awadhi and Rola Dashti were victors in the third district.[2] Also winning were Massouma al-Mubarak and Salwa al-Jassar.[2] When voting was first introduced in Kuwait in 1985, Kuwaiti women had the right to vote.[8] This right was later removed. Women in Kuwait were later re-granted the right to vote and stand in parliamentary and local elections in May 2005.

Sunni Islamists lost more than 10 seats less than the 2008 elections.[9]

e • d Summary of the 16 May 2009 National Assembly of Kuwait Election Results
Seats Ref
Independents 20 [9]
Sunni Islamist 11 [9]
Liberals 8 [9]
Shia Islamist 9 [9]
Popular Action Bloc 2 [9]
Total (turnout 60%) 50


  1. ^ "Stimulus decree comes in effect". Kuwait Times. 2009-04-07. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Kuwait votes for first female MPs". BBC News. 2009-05-17. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  3. ^ a b "Does Kuwait need a political revamp?". BBC News. 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  4. ^ Kuwait May 2009
  5. ^ http://www.themedialine.org/news/news_detail.asp?NewsID=24591
  6. ^ "Kuwaiti government resigns again". BBC News. 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  7. ^ a b c "Women win parliamentary seats for first time in Kuwait". CNN. 2009-05-17. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  8. ^ Apollo Rwomire (2001). African Women and Children: Crisis and Response. p. 8. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Kuwait - Majles al-Ommah (National Assembly) - Elections in 2009". International Parliamentary Union. 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2012-02-04.