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Kuwait elections boycotted by many

Dec. 3, 2012 at 4:50 PM

KUWAIT CITY, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Kuwait's governing Cabinet has resigned, though opponents say it's a mere formality with no changes expected to key positions after a boycotted election.

The Muslim monarchy has been ruled by members of the same family for more than 200 years and despite a series of political protests by emboldened democratic supporters, the most recent parliamentary election was deemed a sham by critics and boycotted by Sunnis and other anti-government groups, al-Jazeera reported Monday. The result was an all-Shiite Parliament returning that, though the country bans formal political parties, has exclusively backed Kuwait's monarchy.

KUNA, the state-run media, put participation in the election at 37 percent of eligible voters.

Walid Tabtabai, an opposition politician, put the percentage of those boycotting at more than 80 percent.

"According to our information more than 80 percent of the Kuwaiti people have boycotted these elections," he said. "We have passed by the polling stations and found them empty. Kuwaitis are refusing such an assembly and will start working from today to topple it and will not accept it either socially or politically."

Kuwait's emir, Sheik Sabah al Ahmad al Sabah of the ruling Sabah family appointed the country's prime minister, who in turn appoints the 15-member Cabinet. The previous Cabinet resigned on course though al-Jazeera said no changes to its key members is expected when the prime minister reappoints members.

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