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Kuwaitis Vote in Landmark Parliamentary Elections


Kuwaitis voted Saturday in landmark parliamentary elections that could substantially change the legislative body in the oil-rich, Gulf Arab nation.

Twenty seven women are among the 275 candidates running for the 50-seat parliament. The women hope to become the first to be elected since females gained the right to vote in Kuwait three years ago.

The early election came after Kuwait's emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed Al-Sabah dissolved parliament in March to resolve a growing political crisis.

The Cabinet had resigned in protest a few days earlier concerning what it said was a lack of cooperation from the opposition-dominated parliament.

Many Kuwaiti voters say they hope the new parliament will be able to end the political feuding and revive economic reforms to wean the country off its dependence on oil.

Kuwait introduced parliamentary democracy in 1962, but Kuwaiti emirs remain the ultimate authority in the country and have dissolved the legislature four times.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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