Elections 2016Kuwait

Voters optimistic that that new parliament will be more productive

A Kuwaiti woman writes on her ballot paper before casting her vote for the parliamentary elections at a polling station yesterday.
A Kuwaiti woman writes on her ballot paper before casting her vote for the parliamentary elections at a polling station yesterday.

KUWAIT: The first hours at the polling stations for the 2016 parliamentary elections yesterday saw a moderate turnout of all age groups. Senior citizens were seen casting their ballots in the first hours of the day in all main and sub-committees compared with previous elections.

In Salwa in the first constituency, Mansour Al-Mansour, a 56-year-old retiree, voted for former opposition MP Adel Al-Damkhi, who he believes will win. “I always participate in the elections – my whole family is voting. I feel this is a national responsibility and I want to vote for an MP who will present a good performance. I was disappointed with the performance of the previous parliament, but I’m optimistic that the new parliament will be more productive, which will improve the situation in the country,” he told Kuwait Times.

Many candidates have agents representing them in committees at polling stations to monitor the voting process. Talal Al-Hamadi is an agent of candidate Roudhan Al-Roudhan at the Rawda polling station in the third constituency. “Voter turnout has been great – they are coming since morning. We expect more voters to come in the evening. According to a survey we did, our candidate is leading here in Rawda, and is in fifth place overall in our constituency. I’m sure he will win,” he pointed out.

Mahmoud Al-Khalif from Egypt is a judge at the main committee in Rawda, and this is his first experience here in Kuwait. “I have been judging elections in Egypt for the past 30 years. Compared to Egypt, the elections here in Kuwait are much more organized. I’m glad to work on these elections, and the voters are disciplined and cooperative. We haven’t faced any problems, and the majority of voters till now have been younger people,” he stated.

Mohammed Al-Jaber, a 30-year-old employee at the ministry of awqaf, said he was voting for the first time. “I voted for former MP Ali Al-Omair, as I believe he was productive and had achievements for the benefit for our country. I wasn’t satisfied with the performance of the previous Assembly, so I decided to vote this time, hoping for a better parliament. I feel that Omair will win, and I hope he will resolve some of the problems we face,” he said. Female voters at the Adailiya polling station were unwilling to speak to Kuwait Times.

The number of ballot papers voters use to mark the name of their candidate is the same as the number of registered voters. “There are no spare or additional ballot papers, so each voter can only use one paper. If he makes a mistake, he won’t get another one and can tell the judging committee about his case. But we haven’t faced any such cases yet. After the voter receives his ballot paper, we stamp his citizenship document,” explained judge Hani Al-Hamdan at the main committee in Khaldiya in the third constituency.

By Nawara Fattahova

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