Kuwait holds parliamentary election

Dec. 1, 2012 at 11:13 AM

KUWAIT CITY, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Opposition leaders boycotting Saturday's parliamentary elections in Kuwait say new voting rules were designed to favor pro-government parties.

Voting began on time in the oil-rich state where 423,000 citizens are eligible to cast their ballots and where analysts expect turnout to be critical to an effective new legislature.

Al-Bawaba said the results of the voting were expected about three hours after the polls close Saturday evening. The BBC said media reports on early turnout around Kuwait ranged from normal to somewhat lighter than expected.

The voting comes after weeks of protests by opposition supporters who contend the royal rulers were trying to manipulate election laws to favor pro-government candidates. A particular sore point was the October decree limiting the number of candidates a voter can select from four to one.

The BBC said the controversy began when the government annulled last winter's election in which the Islamist-led opposition made significant gains.

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