Kuwaiti court rules against government on election law change

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KUWAIT — Kuwait’s top court today threw out a request by the government to change voting laws, a victory for opposition campaigners who are demanding that the ruling family hand more powers to elected politicians.

The Constitutional Court, which drew criticism in June by dissolving the opposition-dominated parliament, ruled against a government bid to amend the electoral law, the state-run Kuwait News Agency reported.

The opposition said the measure was gerrymandering by an administration that was defeated at the polls in February. Thousands rallied late Monday in front of the parliament, calling for its powers to be expanded.

Kuwait’s steps toward democracy have led to repeated clashes between the parliament and governments chosen by the ruling Al-Sabah family. Street protests last year, amplified by the wave of unrest across the Arab world, drove out a government headed by the emir’s nephew amid increasing calls for power to be transferred from the monarchy to elected bodies.

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