An Odd Democracy

Only 13% of Kuwaitis could vote, but still the opposition triumphed

Democracy is so fragile in the Arab world that its appearance even in limited form is encouraging. In a Kuwaiti election last week, the vote was restricted to males 21 and older who were able to trace their ancestry in the emirate to 1920 -- only 13% of the population of 650,000. (Women might be allowed to vote in 1996.) Though small, the vote last week was free enough to enable a coalition opposed to the regime of Sheik Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah to win 31 of 50 parliamentary seats. The government can expect sharp debate over its unpreparedness for the 1990...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!