Kuwaiti general election, 2008

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An early parliamentary election was held in Kuwait on 17 May 2008 after the Emir Sabah 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]

Nearly 362,000 Kuwaitis were eligible to vote, more than half of them women, and 27 of the 275 candidates were women;[3] none of the female candidates won.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6]


e • d Summary of the 17 May 2008 National Assembly of Kuwait election results
2006[7] 2008[8]
Independents (pro-government nationalists) 16 17
Sunni Islamists 16 21
Shia + Popular Action Bloc (opposition)
9 9
Liberals 9 7
Total 50 50


  1. ^ "Kuwait dissolves parliament, sets May election". Reuters. 19 March 2008. 
  2. ^ "Kuwait emir calls fresh elections". BBC News. 19 March 2008. 
  3. ^ "Kuwaiti polls close as economy tops agenda". Reuters. 17 May 2008. 
  4. ^ "Poll snub for Kuwait women". Gulf Daily News. 19 May 2008. 
  5. ^ "Young Kuwaitis turn ‘Orange’". Middle East Online. 29 May 2006. 
  6. ^ "Price debate dominates Kuwait election campaign". Reuters. 15 May 2008. 
  7. ^ "2006". Kuwait politics database. 2006. 
  8. ^ "Assessment of the Electoral Framework" (PDF). Kuwait Transparency Society. November 2008. p. 29.