Kuwait keeps election pledge

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

KUWAIT (AP) - The Kuwaiti government's Council of Ministers has set 5 October as the date for the country's first parliamentary elections in seven years, according to the state-run Kuwait News Agency.

The last parliament was suspended in 1986 by the Emir, Sheik Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah, for its harsh criticism of the government. The Emir promised elections while in exile in Saudi Arabia during Iraq's seven-month occupation of Kuwait, and confirmed that pledge after the Gulf war.

More than 200 candidates are expected to compete for 50 legislative seats. Only 21-year-old male citizens who can trace their ancestry to 1920 will be allowed to vote.