October 20, 2012 - 21:30 AMT
Kuwait's opposition to boycott elections set for Dec 1

Kuwait's main opposition said it will boycott parliamentary elections set for December 1 after the cabinet announced the poll date and changes to the voting system on Saturday, Oct 20.

According to Reuters, the opposition, which holds a parliamentary majority, described changes to the electoral law as a "coup against the constitution" and called for a protest march on Sunday, said Ahmed al-Dayen, an opposition politician.

Kuwait's political system has been hit by months of turmoil stemming from a tussle between the government, which is controlled by the ruling family, and the parliament, which is dominated by Islamists and tribal figures.

Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, Kuwait's emir, had dissolved parliament on October 7, meaning that an election had to take place by mid-December.

It was the sixth dissolution of parliament since early 2006 in the oil producing state, an ally of the United States.

The cabinet ordered a change to electoral procedures to allow voters to chose only one candidate in an electoral district, a statement on state media said. Voters were previously allowed to cast ballots for four candidates.

The last parliamentary elections were held in February.

"The cabinet ... approved the ordering of a call to voters to elect members of the parliament on December 1, 2012," the government said in a statement carried by Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) after an extraordinary meeting.