(Bloomberg) -- Opposition lawmakers with good ties to Kuwait’s current prime minister will dominate the country’s new National Assembly, likely paving the way for smoother relations between the government and legislators after years of squabbling.
Tuesday’s election resulted in a parliamentary makeover, with nearly a quarter of all seats changing hands. It was also a huge victory for candidates affiliated with opposition groupings, who are now being labeled “reformist.”
Should Premier Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Sabah be reappointed as expected, the country may finally see political tensions ease.
Kuwait hasn’t seen much harmony between the government and the assembly for many years, deterring foreign investment, thwarting fiscal reform and hindering efforts to diversify the oil-reliant economy.
The 50-seat legislature includes just one woman, Jenan Boushehri, while 12 lawmakers are affiliated with Islamist groups. Shiite Muslim candidates now hold seven seats, but don’t usually work as a bloc.
The government must now resign and Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah will then appoint a prime minister. A new cabinet must be formed within two weeks of an election. The new parliament will open on June 20.
Polls reported a lower turnout in the key OPEC member, which wields a sovereign wealth fund with assets valued at over $700 billion.
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