KUWAIT: Heading to the polls, yet again
Kuwaiti voters headed to the polls today for the third time in three years to elect a new parliament amid an economic downturn that has spurred some to reconsider the Persian Gulf kingdom's experiment in democracy.
Kuwait's ruling emir dissolved parliament earlier this year, accusing it of unnecessarily blocking a series of reforms that he said would make the economy more efficient, and for going after members of the royal family for alleged corruption.
Kuwait began its latest democratization drive after the U.S. pushed Iraqi forces out of the country in 1991. But it has been a rocky road, with the ruling Sabah family reluctant to give up the reins of power. Nevertheless, says the BBC's Julie Wheeler, "This election is being described by some as the fiercest they've ever known."