Polls open in Kuwait as opposition boycotts

KUWAIT CITY (AFP) - Polls opened in Kuwait on Saturday for the Gulf emirate's second general election in eight months with turnout the key issue as the opposition called for a boycott.

An AFP correspondent saw few early voters at a polling station in Al-Qadsia, just south of the capital Kuwait City.

It was the first time that an election had been called during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when the observant fast during the day.

Daytime temperatures were forecast to hit 45 degrees Celsius in a further disincentive to turnout.

Polls were due to close at 8pm (1700 GMT).

On the eve of the election, the emirate's sixth in the past seven years, the opposition urged voters to stay away, saying that taking part would legitimise corruption.

It was the second time that the opposition had called for a boycott in protest at an electoral law that it says enables the ruling Al-Sabah family to manipulate the outcome.

The law was ruled legal in June by the constitutional court, even though it dissolved parliament on other grounds and ordered Saturday's election.

But its judgement failed to satisfy the opposition.

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