02/13/2006, 00.00
KUWAIT
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First female candidate to run in Kuwait poll

A chemical engineer is the first woman to run for a seat on Kuwait City's municipal council since a new suffrage law came into effect last year. The country's next parliamentary elections are due to take place next year.

Kuwait City (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Jinan Boushehri, 32, will be the first Kuwaiti woman to contest a public election since parliament passed a suffrage bill last year extending the right to vote to women.

Boushehri, who has a master's degree in chemical engineering, plans to run for the seat left vacant by Abdullah al-Mhailbi, the council speaker, who is taking a post in the country's new cabinet.

The new candidate said she can "add something to municipal work" because "I have the right credentials."

Soon after Kuwait's parliament voted last May to allow women to cast ballots and run for public office, the government appointed two women to the capital's partly elected Municipal Council. Ten of its members are elected and six appointed by the government.

Last year, the government also appointed the country's first female cabinet member, Massouma al-Mubarak.

The country's next parliamentary elections are scheduled for next year.

Women have been automatically registered as voters, adding 194,614 to voter lists that already had 139,179 men. 

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