KUWAIT CITY (AP) -- Kuwaitis have begun voting to pick representatives for the parliament as the small, oil-rich country struggles to cope with a slump in oil prices straining public finances.

Polls opened Saturday morning. It is the OPEC nation's seventh parliamentary election since 2006, the year the current 87-year old emir ascended to the post.

Kuwait has the most freewheeling political system among the wealthy Gulf Arab states. The 50-member parliament has authority to question ministers, including members of the ruling family, and voice concerns about government policies and decisions.

The elections were triggered by the dissolution of the legislature in October, giving the fragmented opposition little time to organize.

Results are expected to be released Sunday.