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Kuwait opposition boycotts parliamentary vote

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Kuwait opposition boycotts parliamentary vote

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Saturday’s vote to elect 50 MPs to Kuwait’s parliament is like an election in any other country. Candidates’ posters are up all over town. They say, with me, the country’s future looks bright.

But this is an election without an opposition.

Opponents of the government held their largest ever march on Friday calling for a boycott of the ballot.

The emir of Kuwait changed the voting system six weeks before the election which critics say will skew the outcome in favour of pro-government candidates. So the opposition is not taking part.

Kuwait is surprisngly tolerant of dissent compared to its neighbours in the Gulf. This is the second election this year and the fifth in six years due to a number of political disputes.

Still the government is hoping for a 50 percent turnout to choose from 293 men and 13 women bidding for a parliamentary seat.