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Sat 20 Oct 2012 10:03 AM

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Kuwait sets election date in December

Sheikh Sabah dissolved parliament of the major oil producer and US ally earlier this month

Kuwait sets election date in December
Kuwaits Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. (AFP/Getty Images)

Kuwait set December 1 as the date for a parliamentary election and amended the voting system on Saturday, state media reported, a day after the oil producer's ruler ordered changes to the electoral laws.

Friday's announcement that the emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, ordered the changes prompted the opposition to say it was considering a boycott of the election.

Sabah had dissolved parliament on October 7, meaning that an election had to take place by mid-December.

Persistent political turmoil has held up development projects in the Gulf state, and ally of the United States.

"The cabinet ... approved the ordering of a call to voters to elect members of the parliament on Dec. 1, 2012," the government said in a statement carried by Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) after an extraordinary meeting.

The cabinet ordered a change to electoral procedures to allow voters to chose only one candidate in an electoral district, the statement said. Voters were previously allowed to cast ballots for four candidates.

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