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16 I ORLD NEWSW Passion Islam I June 2009
Kuwaiti women win seats in
France opens
parliment for the first time
Gulf military
“ It’s a victory for Kuwaiti women
and a victory for Kuwaiti democracy “
base in UAE
Aseel al-Awadhi Liberal activist al-
French President Nicolas Sarkozy
Mubarak led all candidates with
formally opened a French military
a big margin in her district, while
base in the United Arab Emirates, the
independent candidate al-Jassar was
country’s first in the oil-rich Gulf region,
in seventh position in her district.
as Paris eyed multi-billion-dollar deals
“It’s a victory for Kuwaiti women and
to supply the UAE with nuclear power
plants and advanced military aircraft.
a victory for Kuwaiti democracy,” a
The French and UAE flags were
jubilant Awadhi told AFP after the
raised at the so-called “Peace Camp” in
announcement of results. “This is a
Abu Dhabi at a ceremony also attended
major leap forward.”
by UAE Deputy Prime Minister and
Awadhi, 40, is a professor
Interior Minister Sheikh Saif bin Zayed
of political philosophy at Kuwait al-Nahayan.
Women won four seats in Kuwait’s University. She got her doctorate The base will host up to 500 troops
parliament, the first women to do so from the University of Texas at Austin.
stationed in three sites on the banks of
in the Gulf Arab state’s history, official She was expected to win but no one
the Strait of Hormuz, just across from
election. predicted she would come in second
Iran: a navy and logistical base, an air
Liberal Aseel al-Awadhi and Rula place.
base with three fighter planes and a
Dashti were declared among the first Kuwaiti women, who make up
training camp.
10 winners in the third district. Awadi 54.3 percent of the 385,000 eligible
French officials said the naval base
came in second position while Dashti voters, were running in the elections
in the UAE, the world’s third-largest
petroleum exporter, would deepen ties
was in seventh place. for only the third time after they were
to the Gulf Arab state and fortify efforts
Former health minister Massouma enfranchised in 2005.
to battle piracy and defend trade.
al-Mubarak, who became the first Sixteen female candidates were
The base is France’s first major
Kuwaiti woman minister in 2005, and among the 210 hopefuls standing
foreign military installation since the
another female candidate, Salwa for the 50-seat parliament. In the
1960s and its first outside Africa. It is
al-Jassar, also secured seats in previous two elections no women expected help safeguard vital Persian
parliament. won seats. Gulf shipping lanes.
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