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Kuwait parliamentary elections set for December 1 amid turmoil

The call for a vote comes amid political tumult that has seen Islamists challenge the rule of monarchy.

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Kuwait's monarchy sets the date for parliamentary elections for December 1. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

Kuwait's monarchy has set a date for parliamentary elections for Dec. 1.

The call for a vote comes amid political tumult that has seen Islamists challenge the rule of monarchy.

BBC said that this is the second parliamentary election this year in Kuwait.

An earlier ballot in June that saw huge gains for Islamist opposition MPs was invalidated by Kuwait's top court.

The court's decision saw major protests, which have continued all summer.

Only a few days ago, five people were arrested at a major rally in Kuwait's capital, Kuwait City, said Pakistan's Daily Times.

The protest saw 8000 people take to the streets with some clashing with police.

Opposition politicians have called on their supporters to boycott the new vote and to oppose a proposal to alter the electoral law by the emir, said Gulf News.

The proposal is to reduce the number of candidates a voter can elect from five to only one.

"We have announced our position that if there was any meddling, there will be a boycott of the election, and what happened was meddling with the constitution of Kuwait," former MP Hamad al-Matar told Reuters.

Kuwait's monarchy cannot afford another electoral defeat, which could see more government posts go to Islamists and more severe societal rules put in place.

There is also worry that a more Islamist government could threaten Kuwait's relationship with the United States.

Kuwait has yet to face the widespread unrest that has rocked other Arab nations but the protest movement does not appear to be dying out.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/121020/kuwait-parliamentary-elections-set-december-1-amid-turmoil