Kuwait opposition to press for change in snap election

By REUTERS
February 2, 2012 04:37

 
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KUWAIT - Kuwaitis head to the polls on Thursday in a snap parliamentary election which the opposition, inspired by political change sweeping the Arab world, hopes to use as a chance to press for broader freedoms in the oil-exporting Gulf Arab state.

Frustration with Kuwait's ruling family has been brewing since last year, with tensions boiling over in November when hundreds of opposition supporters stormed the parliament.

Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, called the snap vote in December after dissolving the chamber in a power struggle that has paralyzed politics in the US-allied nation.

Voters and candidates say the stalemate is holding up vital reforms and development projects in a country of 3.6 million - one of the world's richest thanks to its vast oil wealth.

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