Kuwait boycott bloc hails lower turnout

December 2, 2012
Kuwaiti citizens wait in line to cast their vote at a polling station in Rumaithiya, Kuwait on Saturday, Dec. 1st, 2012. The general election to appoint a new Parliament is the fifth since mid-2006, and the second this year.(AP Photo/Gustavo Ferrari)

KUWAIT CITY (AP) — Opposition groups in Kuwait are hailing their election boycott as a success after officials said voter turnout on Saturday was sharply lower than during the last parliamentary races earlier this year.

Election officials say slightly more than 39 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. That compares with nearly 60 percent in February elections.

As expected, the results Sunday point to a solidly pro-government chamber. Three women are among the new 50-seat parliament.

A wide-reaching opposition coalition, including conservative Islamists and Western-leaning liberals, boycotted the vote to protest alleged power abuses by the ruling family.

Kuwait's parliament is the most politically powerful among the Gulf Arab states, but the ruling establishment controls all key government posts and policies.