Everything you need to know about Kuwait's 6 June general election

Everything you need to know about Kuwait's 6 June general election
On June 6, Kuwait will hold its seventh round of parliamentary elections in just over 10 years, as entrenched political deadlock has seen the Gulf state trapped in a cycle of seemingly endless parliamentary dissolutions and recurring snap elections.
3 min read
05 June, 2023
on Tuesday 6 June Kuwait will hold its seventh parliamentary elections in ten years [Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP via Getty]

Kuwait will hold another vote for a new parliament on 6 June - the seventh general elections in just over 10 years - amid a recurring political deadlock.

The vote comes amid pressing demands for economic reforms and major political issues sweeping the region.

Here is what you need to know about the 50 seats up for grabs in Kuwait's latest snap election.

Kuwait's electoral map

There are 112 residential areas spread between five electoral districts each of which will elect five MPs. Voters may cast one vote for one candidate - this followed a one-person, one-vote decree passed in 2012, which reduced the votes from four to one per eligible voter.

The Kuwaiti National Assembly is made up of an elected parliament containing 50 MPs voted for by the public on Tuesday and up to 16 royally-appointed government ministers.

795,911 Kuwaitis are eligible to vote according to the most recent statistics.

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How long is a term for the Kuwaiti parliament?

According to Kuwaiti law, a parliamentary term is four years. However, since the first elected parliament following the liberation of Kuwait after the 1991 invasion by Iraq, the country has witnessed 13 elected parliaments.

Only three of these completed their full term (the parliaments elected in 1992, 1999 and 2016), while seven have been dissolved mid-way through their terms.

How many candidates are standing in the elections?

207 candidates including 13 women will be standing for election. This is the lowest number standing for elections in the past decade.

Who is standing in these elections?

While political parties are banned in Kuwait, political movements exist and field candidates in the parliamentary elections.

Four candidates standing in tomorrow's elections are from the Islamic Constitutional Movement (Hadas) which is a Kuwaiti Islamist political organisation and the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait.

Kuwait's largest Salafi group, known as the Al-Jamaa al-Salafiyya ("Salafi Community")  is fielding three candidates, and a fourth, former Salafist MP Fayez Ghannam, is close to the group. The Thawabit al-Umma ("Principles of the Islamic Nation") Salafist group will also field one candidate, Mohammed Hayef Al-Mutairi.

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The National Islamic Alliance, a Shia political organisation, will put forward three candidates, as will the Justice and Peace Alliance, another Shia group.

The left-leaning Kuwait Democratic Forum is running in the elections with two candidates, and the Popular Action Movement (Hashd), led by prominent political opposition figure Musllam Al-Barrak, is putting forward three candidates.

However, the majority of those standing are running as independent candidates and attract support via tribal rather than political affiliations.

How will the vote take place?

118 schools will act as polling stations with five designated as the main centres in which the final votes for each constituency will be counted.

The voting process will start at 8am on 6 June and last until 8pm. Voters will need to bring their Nationality Certificates and ID cards in order to vote.

Kuwait's political system consists of a government appointed by Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and a nominally elected parliament made up of 50 elected members.

However, political wrangling between these two bodies has led to Kuwait's parliament being dissolved and re-formed repeatedly. The last elected parliament was dissolved in March 2023, leading to the previous parliament being reinstated.

However, this parliament was dissolved in May, paving the way for the current snap election.

This article is based on an article which appeared in our Arabic edition by Anwar Alrougui on 2 June 2023. To read the original article click here.