Kuwaiti candidate and former parliament speaker Marzouq al-Ghanem (C), celebrates with his supporters following the announcment of his victory in the parliamentary election, in Kuwait city, early November 27, 2016. AFP / Yasser Al-Zayyat
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Kuwait's Islamist-dominated opposition made a strong showing in the Gulf state's parliamentary elections, but analysts say the loose coalition must forge strong unity to become an effective political force. Saturday's polls were the first in nearly four years to have been contested by the opposition, whose diverse components agree on some issues such as rejecting government austerity measures but are split on many others.Political parties are banned in Kuwait, which has been ruled by the Sabah family for two and a half centuries and was the first Gulf Arab state to adopt a parliamentary system in 1962 .As a result, the opposition coalition is made up of individuals, rather than well-defined parties with a distinct ideology.The opposition groups boycotted two general elections in 2012 and 2013 in protest at a change in the voting system brought unilaterally by the government.Islamists took nearly half of the 24 seats won by the opposition in the 50-member Parliament.
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