Tribal groups, meanwhile, want to preserve their influence and fear the new voting system erodes their clout.
‘‘It was an alliance of convenience,’’ said Eman al-Bedah, a columnist for the liberal-leaning Aljarida newspaper. ‘‘There were many signs that suggested they are not a united group and have no clear plan for what they will do next.’’
Kuwait also has been hit by a wave of labor unrest and strikes earlier this year, including walkouts that grounded the state carrier, Kuwait Airways, and temporarily closed customs posts and left several hundred trucks stranded at the border.
Calls for better working conditions have grown louder in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings. Kuwaitis are used to well-paid government jobs and cradle-to-grave benefits that increasingly have become a burden on state finances despite the huge oil wealth.