An early parliamentary election was held in Kuwait on 16 May 2009,[1] the country's third in a three-year period.[2] Kuwait had voted on six occasions between 1991 and 2009.[3] The election was notable in that women were elected for the first time since Kuwait gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961.

2009 ElectionsEdit


The Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah dissolved the National Assembly of Kuwait on 18 March 2009 over accusations of supposed abuse of democracy and threats to political stability. The government had resigned just two days before to evade questioning in parliament.[4][5] This has frequently happened before and is widely seen as a structural problem in Kuwait's otherwise well-developed emerging democratic environment. Solutions that have been suggested include forming a government without any members of the royal family (a so-called "popular government"), thus making the possibility of parliamentary questioning a reality, or appointing the crown prince as PM, which would make parliamentary questioning sufficiently unlikely so that it would not be a problem any more.[3]

The CandidatesEdit

210 candidates attempted to win 50 seats.[6] 16 were female.[6]

The ResultsEdit

The results were announced on 17 May 2009. For the first time, Kuwait, which has no political parties, successfully elected female MPs.[2][6] Four women will appear in parliament.[2] Aseel al-Awadhi and Rola Dashti were victors in the third district; both received their education in the United States.[2] Also winning were Massouma al-Mubarak and Salwa al-Jassar.[2] Women's rights in Kuwait improved in 2005 when Kuwaiti females were allowed to vote and to run for election to parliament for the first time in the nation's history.[2] Reportedly, Sunni islamists lost ground, while liberals and independents gained seats.[7]