Kuwaiti general election, 2006

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General elections were held in Kuwait on 29 June 2006. They were the first elections in Kuwait in which women were able to vote and run for office.[1]


The National Assembly was dissolved by Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on 21 May 2006 after a month-long stalemate in the Assembly over an electoral reform bill. The government had sought to reduce the number of constituencies from 25 to ten, whilst the opposition favoured reducing the number to five;[1] the reduction was aimed at reducing the effect of gerrymandering.[2]

Electoral system[edit]

Following electoral reforms in May 2005, suffrage was extended to women and all Kuwaiti citizens 21 or older were allowed to vote, except for members of the armed forces.


A total of 253 candidates ran in the elections, including 28 women.[3]


Although 54% of the eligible voters in Kuwait were women, female voters made up only 35% of the total.[4] Pro-reform candidates were estimated to have won 33 seats, an increase of four from the 2003 elections.[1] No women were elected.[1]

Party Votes % Seats
Islamists 21
Pro-government 14
Liberals 3
Independents 12
Invalid/blank votes 1,883
Total 312,762 100 50
Registered voters/turnout 340,248 91.92
Source: IPU

An additional 15 members of the cabinet also became members of the National Assembly.[1]


The newly elected National Assembly opened on 12 July, with Jassem Al-Kharafi elected Speaker, beating Ahmed Al-Sadoun by a vote of 36–28.[1]

In late July 2006, an electoral reform law was approved, cutting the number of voting constituencies from 25 to five.[2] Although no women were elected to the National Assembly, one woman was appointed to the 16-member cabinet headed by Prime Minister Nasser Al-Sabah.[1]