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Tough times ahead for government with new parliament
November 27, 2016, 1:45 pm
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Kuwait is headed for yet another confrontationist parliament as results from the polls held on Saturday to the 15th legislative assembly indicate. Around 15 liberals, nationalists and Islamists, who usually come together as the opposition in parliament, have been returned by the electorate. Many of them had boycotted previous elections in protest against the government’s electoral reforms. Only 20 of the 50 former parliamentarians made it back into parliament; 22, including two former ministers, lost their re-election bid, while eight previous members chose not to stand for re-election.

The Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM), the supposedly local arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Salafist Islamists, who together form the main opposition fulcrum in parliament, bagged four seats each. Together with the liberals and nationalists who have been voted-in to the new parliament, they could pose a formidable challenge to the government’s attempts at economic reform. The Shiite minority that usually lends support to the government lost three of its seats from the nine they held in the previous assembly.

Over 290 candidates including 14 women competed for the 50 parliamentary seats on Saturday. Initially, 455 people had signed up to vie for parliamentary seats in the five electoral districts, but 128 later pulled out of the race and 40 were barred by the committee tasked with verifying the eligibility of the candidates.

The disqualifications were based on the security records and on the reputations of the hopefuls. Some candidates were barred for not fulfilling the procedural requirements, including the physical presence to submit the application. Several candidates who were barred by the committee resorted to the administrative court, launching a legal battle with the government that reached in some cases the Court of Cassation, the highest court in the country.

The number of women candidates in the 2016 fray was the second lowest figure since women gained the right to vote in 2005. Of the 14 women candidates who stood for elections, only one, Safa Abdul Rahman Al-Hashem, won a seat, the same number, and the same candidate, as in the dissolved parliament.

The 483,186-strong electorate to the 2016 elections comprised of 47.68 percent males and 52.31 percent females. Despite this strong women numbers, the less than sterling performance by women over the last ten years is often attributed to the formidable challenges they face in elections often dominated by powerful tribal and religious affiliations.

As polls opened across the country on Saturday morning, long winding queues, a characteristic of elections in some other countries, were noticeably absent. Notch it to the small size of the electorate or call it poll fatigue and a general apathy towards the revolving door parliaments in recent years, the lack of interest was clearly palpable among those gathered before polling stations in the morning. However, as the day wore on, the voting tempo picked up considerably and by end of polling hours at 8pm on Saturday, the turnout was considered to be at least 70 percent; it had been 53 percent in the last elections in 2013.

The hope of many citizens and residents in Kuwait is that the huge voter turnout will compel parliamentarians to put aside their ideologies and personal agendas and for once do what is right for the country, its people and its development.

Winners of parliament seats in the 2016 Assembly election

1st Constituency

1- Adnan Sayed Abulsamad (4,287 votes) 2- Essa Ahmad Al-Kanderi (4,077 votes) 3- Mohammad Mirwi Al-Hadiyah (3,016 votes) 4- Adel Jassem Al-Damkhi (2,758 votes) 5- Abdullah Youssef Al-Roumi (2,731 votes) 6- Saleh Ahmad Ashour (2,541 votes) 7- Mubarak Salem Al-Harees (2,444 votes) 8- Osama Essa Al-Shaheen (2,270 votes) 9- Khaled Hussein Al-Shatti (2,166 votes) 10- Salah Abduredha Khourshid (2,131 votes).

2nd Constituency

1- Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim (4,119 votes) 2- Riyadh Ahmad Al-Adsani (3,578 votes) 3- Khalil Ibrahim Al-Saleh (2,914 votes) 4- Jamaan Thaher Al-Herbish (2,432 votes) 5- Hamad Seif Al-Harshani (2,341 votes) 6- Mohammad Barrak Al-Mutair (2,172 votes) 7- Khalaf Dumaitheer Al-Enizi (1,942 votes) 8- Rakan Youssef Al-Nisf (1,888 votes) 9- Oudah Oudah Al-Ruwaiee (1,772 votes) 10- Omar Abdulmohsin Al-Tabtabaee (1,755 votes).

3rd Constituency

1- Abdulwahab Mohammad Al-Babtain (3,730 votes) 2- Saadoun Hammad Al-Otaibi (3,444 votes) 3- Youssef Saleh Al-Fedhalah (3,399 votes) 4- Abdulkarim Abdullah Al-Kanderi (3,325 votes) 5- Safaa Abdurrahman Al-Hashim (3,273 votes) 6- Mohammad Hussein Al-Dalaal (2,533 votes) 7- Walid Musaaed Al-Tabtabaee (2,504 votes) 8- Khalil Abdullah Abul (2,443 votes) 9- Mohammad Nasser Al-Jabri (2,219 votes) 10- Ahmad Nabil Al-Fadhel (2,124 votes).

4th Constituency

1- Thamer Saad Al-Thifeeri (5,601 votes) 2- Mubarak Haif Al-Hajraf (4,621 votes) 3- Mohammad Hayef Al-Mutairi (4,506 votes) 4- Saad Ali Al-Rusheedi (3,811 votes) 5- Abdullah Fahad Al-Enizi (3,545 votes) 6- Shueib Shabab Al-Muweizri (3,528 votes) 7- Ali Salem Al-Deqbasi (3,379 votes) 8- Askar Auwayed Al-Enizi (2,972 votes) 9- Saud Mohammad Al-Shuwaier (2,897 votes) 10- Marzouq Khalifa Al-Khalifa (2,874 votes).

5th Constituency

1- Humoud Abdullah Al-Khudeir (5,072 votes) 2- Hamdan Salem Al-Azmi (5,038 votes) 3- Al-Humaidi Bader Al-Subaiee (4,660 votes) 4- Talal Saad Al-Jalaal (4,299 votes) 5- Faisal Mohammad Al-Kanderi (4,114 votes) 6- Khaled Mohammad Al-Otaibi (3,998 votes) 7- Majed Musaaed Al-Mutairi (3,821 votes) 8- Nayef Abdulaziz Al-Ajmi (3,769 votes) 9- Nasser Saad Al-Doussari (3,296 votes) 10- Mohammad Hadi Al-Huweila (2,851 votes). 

Kuwait leadership congratulates new parliamentarians

H.H. the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent cables of congratulations to the election winners and wished them success in carrying out their duties aimed at serving and developing Kuwait. His Highness also lauded the huge turnout and their positive response by citizens to their national responsibility. Furthermore, he also expressed appreciation to all senior officials and government bodies for their efforts in making the elections a success. H.H. the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and H. H. the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah also sent similar cables to the new parliamentarians.

- Times Report

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