Government austerity tops Kuwait election campaign

A total of 454 candidates, including 15 women, have registered to stand for election to the 50-seat Kuwait parliamentCandidates in Kuwait’s parliamentary elections have focused their campaigns on unpopular government austerity measures as the oil-dependent Gulf country faces financial stress due to low crude prices. Kuwait, which sits on around seven percent of the world’s proven crude reserves, has resorted to a series of measures to cut spending and boost non-oil revenues in a bid to diversify its economy. “The government has tried to resolve the economic crisis by raising funds from citizens, like hiking petrol prices,” independent candidate Hisham al-Baghli charged at an election rally this week.

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