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Kuwaiti reformists gain, but women lose

June 30, 2006 at 2:02 PM

KUWAIT CITY, June 30 (UPI) -- Women candidates in Kuwait's parliamentary elections failed to win any seats but anti-corruption reformists that included some Islamists made big gains.

It was the first time in the oil-rich Persian Gulf emirate that women were both voting and contesting in an election.

The BBC quoted local media that voter turnout was high with women making up 57 percent of the electorate. The report said there 28 women candidates out of a total of 252, contesting for the 50-seat parliament. All the women candidates were defeated.

The opposition reformists, many of them Islamists, added four seats, moving their total in parliament to 33, the report said.

The parliament has powers, but the emir, Sheik Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, has the final word on most government policies and key Cabinet appointments.

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