Kuwait: First female MPs voted into office
There are no political parties in Kuwait; the prime minister appoints ministers most of whom are unelected.
"It's a victory for Kuwaiti women and a victory for Kuwaiti democracy," Ms Awadhi told AFP news agency.
"This is a major leap forward," she said. The right to vote and stand for election to Kuwait's parliament, the oldest in the Gulf, was extended to women in 2005.
Former Health Minister Massouma al-Mubarak, who became the first Kuwaiti woman to be appointed to a ministerial post in 2005, and Salwa al-Jassar, have also secured seats in parliament.
Parliamentary pressure to investigate and question ministers on deals has previously seen the cabinet cancelling or delaying multi-billion dollar international projects and social development plans.
During campaigning, anti-government feeling among some candidates has moved to a higher level - two people were arrested for criticising the ability of the ruling al-Sabah family to govern.
They still hold the post of prime minister as well as the key defence, interior and foreign affairs portfolios. Many voters had complained about the frozen development caused by the political gridlock.
"Men don't have credibility anymore. We're fed up with crises." Ibrahim al-Attar told AP news agency after casting his vote for four female candidates.
One of the first tasks awaiting the new parliament will be to vote on a $5bn stimulus package designed to help the financial sector of the oil-rich state cope with the global economic downturn.
17 May 2009
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