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Kuwaitis Vote in Poll Boycotted by Opposition


A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Ardiyah, Kuwait, December 1, 2012.

A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Ardiyah, Kuwait, December 1, 2012.

The polls have closed in a divisive Kuwaiti election held under a new electoral law that triggered an opposition boycott.

Witnesses say turnout Saturday appeared lighter than usual in several districts.

Voters were choosing candidates for all 50 of the Gulf emirate's parliament seats.

The opposition said the vote favors supporters of the Western-backed emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah. The long-ruling al-Sabah family already controls the Kuwaiti Cabinet.

In October, the emir used emergency powers to cut the number of votes per citizen from four to one. Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters denounced the move, saying such changes would undercut their rising clout in the oil-rich nation.
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