Radical Sunni Islamists made a strong showing in Kuwait’s legislative election and minority Shias gained one more seat, but women failed again to enter parliament, according to results released on Sunday.
Official results from all five districts showed that the hardline Islamic Salafi Alliance and its allies won at least 10 seats in Saturday’s poll, almost twice their strength in the previous chamber.
Sunni and Shia Islamists grabbed more than half of parliament’s 50 seats.
Sunni Islamists won 21 seats, four more than their number in the previous parliament which was dissolved by the ruler of the oil-rich Gulf state in March after a standoff between the government and MPs.
About half of the Sunni Islamists came from tribal areas.
The moderate Islamic Constitutional Movement, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, however saw its strength cut by half to three MPs.
The number of lawmakers from the Shia Muslim minority increased by one to five.
All elected Shia MPs are Islamists, including two members of the previous parliament who took part in a controversial rally in March to mourn the slain military commander of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Imad Mughnieh, which triggered sectarian tensions.
Analysts had predicted that sectarian divisions would play a key role in the early election in the emirate, where Shias constitute one-third of the native population of just over one million.
Liberals and their allies won seven seats, one fewer than in the previous house, while the nationalist Popular Action Bloc led by veteran opposition figure and three-time speaker Ahmad Al Saadun took four seats, down one.