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Kuwaitis see voting a powerful tool to get their voices heard

Voters must not be influenced by nepotism, tribalism

By Ghadeer Ghloum


KUWAIT: Voting is the cornerstone of democracy, as it provides citizens with a means of expressing their views and opinions freely. By voting, citizens have the power to influence the decisions made by their elected representatives. This is especially important in a country like Kuwait, where the government is elected by its people. In such a system, citizens have the power to shape the policies and laws of their country through the ballot box. Thus, the responsibility to vote should not be taken lightly.

Kuwaiti citizens have a duty to participate in the electoral process to uphold the principles of democracy. By voting, citizens help ensure their government is accountable to the people and that their voices are heard. This is especially important in Kuwait, where the constitution guarantees the rights of Kuwaiti citizens to participate in the democratic process. However, some individuals within the country may choose not to exercise this right.

It is crucial to recognize the importance of participating in the democratic process and fulfilling one’s national responsibility by casting a vote. Failure to vote not only undermines the legitimacy of the government, but also weakens the country’s democratic institutions.

Kuwait Times interviewed three citizens to shed light on their responsibility and perspective on participating in the electoral process.

Kuwaiti engineer Ala’a Murtadha told Kuwait Times that one must understand the significance of democratic elections in Kuwait. It is necessary for the citizens to fulfill their constitutional obligation to be a part of the decision-making process.

“Voting is one important way that we can participate in our democracy and lead to positive changes. It promotes fairness, justice and equality, as each individual has their own voice in choosing the elected officials whose decisions impact our lives, families and society. The elected officials are responsible for making decisions that will impact citizens greatly. Therefore, by voting, Kuwaiti citizens can play an active role in shaping their society,” he said.

Mohammad Al-Ansari, a Kuwaiti teacher, said: “As a citizen, I genuinely believe that voting is a necessity in our society. It is one of, if not the only, weapon the citizen has — to pick someone genuine and put them in a place of high power to try and rejuvenate the country from the damage that has befallen it, as a means of damage control.”

By not voting, citizens are essentially giving up their right to have a say in their country’s future. “Kuwait gives us the privilege to choose the right person for the right job. While I believe that every citizen should have the right to vote, I also think there should be some restrictions and tests in place to filter those who are well-informed and are able to make sound decisions and those who aren’t,” he said.

Moreover, Ansari highlighted a serious issue. “One of many issues that we face in voting is tribalism. The vast majority of known, socially high-ranking tribes, dare I say, aren’t qualified to vote. To them, it’s a matter of honor, of not rejecting a tribal call when in need. Declining such calls could potentially have them thrown out of the tribal circle, and that’s the equivalent of being banished — exiled from their own tribe,” he pointed out.

“We need to ensure that voters are not influenced by nepotism when it comes to voting. To sum up and just to be straightforward, the Holy Quran makes it clear and easy. In Surah Al-Nisa (4:58), Allah says ‘Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Indeed, Allah is ever Hearing and Seeing.’”

Concurring with both Murtadha and Ansari, Khaled Kandari, also a Kuwaiti citizen, said: “I vote in every election because it is my responsibility to do so. If I wish to see change in my country, I have to be part of it as well and have to be genuine in choosing the people I vote for. Voting must not be according to a certain tribe, sect, relationship or any kind of personal connections, but rather according to the candidate’s qualities and motives.”


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