Saturday, October 20, 2012
Kuwait sets parliamentary elections for December 1
KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait set December 1 as the date for a parliamentary election and amended the voting system on Saturday, state media reported, a day after the oil producer's ruler ordered changes to the electoral laws.
Friday's announcement that the emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, ordered the changes prompted the opposition to say it was considering a boycott of the election.
Sabah had dissolved parliament on October 7, meaning that an election had to take place by mid-December.
Persistent political turmoil has held up development projects in the Gulf state, and ally of the United States.
"The cabinet ... approved the ordering of a call to voters to elect members of the parliament on December 1, 2012," the government said in a statement carried by Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) after an extraordinary meeting.
The cabinet ordered a change to electoral procedures to allow voters to chose only one candidate in an electoral district, the statement said. Voters were previously allowed to cast ballots for four candidates.
(Reporting By Ahmed Hagagy, writing by Angus McDowall, editing by Sami Aboudi)