National Assembly (parliament) in Kuwait City
National Assembly (parliament) in Kuwait City. Kuwait will hold parliamentary elections on February 2, an official statement said on Sunday, the fourth poll in under six years for the OPEC Gulf state as it seeks political stability. © Yasser al-Zayyat - AFP/File
National Assembly (parliament) in Kuwait City
AFP
Last updated: December 18, 2011

Kuwait to hold early general election on February 2

Kuwait will hold parliamentary elections on February 2, an official statement said on Sunday, the fourth poll in under six years for the OPEC Gulf state as it seeks political stability.

Education and Justice Minister Ahmad al-Mulaifi said after a cabinet meeting that the government approved a decree calling on an estimated 400,000 Kuwaiti voters to elect a new parliament on February 2, according to the statement.

The move comes just four days after Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah swore in a new cabinet with only minor changes to the government that resigned in November over allegations of corruption.

Kuwait has been rocked by a series of almost non-stop political disputes since Sheikh Nasser, a nephew of the emir, was appointed premier in February 2006.

During Sheikh Nasser's tenure, all seven of his cabinets were forced to resign over political disputes and parliament was also dissolved four times.

Mulaifi said that the government agreed to allow Kuwait Transparency Society to monitor the elections and also decided to establish hotlines in various areas for people to report violations.

It will be the first time Kuwait, which introduced parliamentary elections in 1962, will allow anybody to monitor the elections which are supervised and managed entirely by the ministries of interior and justice.

Kuwait is OPEC's third largest producer, pumping around 3.0 million barrels of oil per day. It has a native population of just 1.2 million in addition to 2.4 million foreign residents.

Despite accumulating massive assets exceeding $300 billion from high oil prices, development projects have been stalled because of the political turmoil.

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