Ahmed Al-Jarallah, Editor-in-Chief of the Arab Times and Al-Seyassah seen casting his vote
Diversity wins day in divisive poll More Shias, new faces … 3 women

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 1: Kuwaitis voted on Saturday in a divisive parliamentary election held under new polling rules that triggered an opposition boycott of the ballot and mass protests.
Liberals, Shiites and conservatives won overwhelmingly, unlike the Sunni-Islamist and tribal affiliated elections earlier this year. Three women succeeded in garnering Parliament seats.
Shiites were the biggest gainers with around 15 seats, up from six in February 2012. The minority candidates won seats in all five constituencies, including all five of the Shiite National Islamic Alliance candidates.

At the time of going to press, the results were as follows with the trend showing that there will unlikely be any changes in the winners:

First Constituency
1. Kamel Mohammed Al-Awadhi    5,757
2. Adnan Abdulsamad    4,983
3. Faisal Al-Duwaisan    4851
4. Yousef Al-Zalzalah    3,529
5. Masouma Al-Mubarak    3,204
6. Abdulhameed Dashti    2,725
7. Saleh Ashour    2,241
8. Nawaf S. Al-Fazie    2,090
9. Khalid H. Al-Shatti    1,901
10. Hussein A. Al-Qallaf     1,656

Second Constituency
1. Ali Fahad Al-Rashed    3,044
2. Adnan Al-Mutawa    2,598
3. Abdul-Rahman Al-Jeeran    2,317
4. Bader Ghareeb Al-Bazali    1,919
5. Adel Musaid Al-Khorafi    1,834
6. Ahmed Hajji Larri    1,634
7. Khalaf Dumaithir    1,552
8. Khalil Ibrahim Al-Saleh    1,485
9. Hamad Saif Al-Harshani    1,043
10. Salah Abdullah Al-Atiki    909

Third Constituency
1. Ali Al-Omair    5,758
2. Khalil Ali Abdullah    3,903
3. Ahmed Al-Mulaifi- 2,988
4. Safaa Al-Hashim    2,676
5. Sadoun Hammad Al-Otaibi    2,180
6. Hisham Al-Baghli    1,998
7. Abdullah Al-Mayouf    1,952
8. Nabeel Al-Fadhl    1,904
9. Yakoub Al-Sanei    1,408
10. Mohammed Nasser Al-Jabri    1,251

Fourth Constituency
1. Saad Ali Khanfour Al-Rashidi    2,569
2. Askar Owaid Al-Anazi- 2,563
3. Saud Al-Hariji    2,126
4. Mubarak Al-Khreinj    1,832
5. Zikra Al-Rashidi    1,315
6. Mohammed Al-Rashidi    1,231
7. Khalid Al-Shulaimi    1,226
8. Mubarak Al-Najada    1,139
9. Mubarak Bunaya Al-Oruf    1,126
10. Mushari Al-Husseini    1,109

Fifth Constituency
1. Faisal Mohammed Al-Kandari    3,572
2. Abdullah Ibrahim Al-Tameemi    2,883
3. Nasser Abdul-Mohsen Al-Muri    1,657
4. Hani Hussein Shans    1,639
5. Essam Al-Dabous    1,374
6. Tahir Al-Failakawi    884
7. Hammad Al-Dausari    871
8. Khalid Al-Adwa Al-Ajmi    855
9. Saad Al-Bous    809
10. Nasser Abdullah Al-Shimiri    523

A good number of old faces from previous Parliaments make up the 50-member house, but the majority of lawmakers are newly-elected. Women lawmakers won seats in the new Parliament, despite the low number of female registrants, unlike the previous Islamist-dominated election where no women candidates were able to succeed. Twenty-three women had contested in the elections of the annulled assembly.

Voters from the estimated 422,569 eligible electorate, divided into five electoral constituencies, trickled into 100 polling stations from 8:00 am to 20:00 pm.

Turnout at the February 2012 elections was estimated at 60 percent, while in 2009 turnout was recorded at 58 percent.

Meanwhile, boycotting former lawmakers and members of the opposition Majority Bloc held symbolic voting rounds to express rejection of the elections and deemed the boycott campaign of elections a success. They estimated that the turnout was at 26.7 percent.

They claimed the government attempted to “play with the ballots” due to the lack of participation. Opposition activists estimated that the turn-out this election is the lowest in Kuwait’s history. “I expect that election participation will only be at 25 percent,” commented Mohammed Hayef earlier on Saturday.
“The blackout at the polling station in Sabah Al-Nasser during counting confirms that the government is heading to forgery after it was shocked with the voters turnout,” commented Musallam Al-Barrak on Twitter.

Thousands participated in an opposition march on the Gulf Road on Friday calling for the boycott of the elections. The opposition, made of Islamists, trial nationalist and liberals, believe the one-vote electoral system decree of urgency, which was issued by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Oct 20, is unconstitutional and favors a solely pro-government Parliament.
Kuwait has been unsettled by a series of almost non-stop political disputes between the legislative and executive authorities since 2006. The National Assembly has been dissolved five times, the fifth dissolution being the reinstated 2009 Parliament, and the Cabinet has stepped down seven times.

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Nihal Sharaf Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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