On June 29, 2006, Kuwaitis go to the polls to elect a parliament. While the elections have drawn little international attention, the poll could have deep implications for the future of the Arabian peninsula’s most democratic political system. This year’s voting may seem routine—with two interruptions, Kuwait has had regular parliamentary elections since independence. But the 2006 parliamentary elections have two striking features. First, they are occasioned by an intense controversy over the size of electoral districts—a seemingly technical matter with significant implications for Kuwaiti political life. Second, in this dispute, liberals and Islamists are very much on the same side—a rare alliance in the region, and unusual even in Kuwait.
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