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An early parliamentary election
was held in Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...
on 17 May 2008 after the Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Sheikh Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah is the Emir of Kuwait. Sheikh Sabah was sworn in on January 29, 2006 after confirmation by the National Assembly of Kuwait. He is the fourth son of Emir Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Sheikh Sabah is the head of the ruling Al-Sabah family...
dissolved the National Assembly of Kuwait
The National Assembly of Kuwait, known as the Majlis Al-Umma , is the legislature of Kuwait. The current speaker of the Assembly is Jassem Al-Kharafi. The Emir unconstitutionally dissolved the National Assembly in 1986 and restored it after the Gulf War in 1992...
on 19 March 2008 over constant clashes between the government and the elected MPs. The last elections were held less than two years previously and saw a loose alliance of reformists and Islamists gain almost two thirds of the seats.
361,685 Kuwaitis were eligible to vote, more than half of them women; 27 of the 275 candidates were women. None of the female candidates won.
New rules introduced for this election have changed the 25 constituencies electing two to five electing 10. This was a demand of the reformist Kuwaiti Orange Movement, which led mass demonstrations in 2006, who believed the change would impede vote buying electoral fraud
Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates or both...
A leading theme in the election was inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...
, which hit a record high 9.5% four months before the election. Many candidates in the election proposed increased governmental subsidies
A subsidy is an assistance paid to a business or economic sector. Most subsidies are made by the government to producers or distributors in an industry to prevent the decline of that industry or an increase in the prices of its products or simply to encourage it to hire more labor A subsidy (also...
to be funded by oil profits.