Spirits high among voters at polling stations ‘We responded to the Amir’s calling’: 3rd Constituency voter

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 1: Despite much of the tension surrounding the elections on Saturday, spirits were high as voters headed to their committees and polling stations. Despite major pushes for boycotting, those who did vote were fully committed to their responsibility as voters.

“We responded to the Amir’s calling,” said Mariam, voting in Jabriya in the Third Constituency. “He requested that we vote, and we did not insist against it [as others are], we went straight vote. [The boycotters] are free, of course, but why the stubbornness on such an issue when the Amir requested it. All countries have a one-vote system, not just Kuwait, and other countries don’t even have a voting system or a parliament at all, or any outlets for the people.”

“[I voted for this person because] he has good ideas and is a good speaker,” continued Mariam.
“It’s very organized and tidy, thank God and we haven’t seen anything from the boycotters,” said Ghadeer Abbas.

Campaigners and voters alike gathered around the voting centers, eager to elect the representatives that they felt best expressed their hopes and wishes for the country.

“The current circumstances are normal ones that could happen in any country that went through the dissolution of parliament followed by calls for new elections. I am very happy to be here and I hope that everyone goes out and votes today; that’s how I feel,” said Mashael Al-Sarraf, voting at her polling station in Salwa.

“To begin with , [I voted for this person] for reform, in every sense of the word. I can’t speak about political programs or what this candidate will seek, but ideologically, he/she supports development projects, and has ideas to coordinate with the government not to work at odds with them, and this is that is going to help the country.

“(The boycotter’s) freedom not to vote places them in the same position as the silent faction of society that haven’t voted this year,” she continued. “If (their) previews numbers really represented how much popularity they have amongst the peoples, then it is supposed that you would go out and vote and express your opinions under the auspices of parliament, and not outside of it.”

Turnout differed according to polling stations, and many voters were hopeful for a large turnout. “Voting has gone well so far, but as for numbers, I don’t know, as the majority of people vote later on,” said Ahmed AbdulRida, in Salwa. “Hopefully it will be a large number. I agree with my candidate on everything, and he has adopted all the relevant causes and issues.

“Boycotters are free to boycott as they please,” he added.

Ibrahim Al-Ghattam, also voting in the First Constituency, stated, “Elections and democratic work nowadays is desirable amongst all countries, and today, specifically in Kuwait, which is a democratic country, preceding all the existing political systems within the region. As Kuwaitis, we take pride in enabling the political process that exists in Kuwait. Yes, there are those who are attempting to delay or obstruct democracy, but they will not be able to obstruct these elections no matter what, because the Kuwaiti people were raised to enter this beautiful, democratic process that we take pride in, in front of all nations. We would like to reach, affirm and focus on democracy in our beloved Kuwait, and for the reason we ask God to help us in spite of the attempts of some to obstruct this democratic process.

“It is true that there be change in terms of the faces of the candidates that reach the parliament in Abdullah Al-Salem Hall, but we hope for change for the better, and we ask God and hope for the success of the honest and earnest efforts and elements that are working on serving the dear country.”

“Voting here within the First Constituency during the daytime period has shown a turnout of perhaps 30 percent, and in the evening this will increase probably,” said Hussein Marafie. “But in general, within the First Constituency, this is a good turnout. People are here in response to HH the Amir, and we have to get involved, so we did and we’re hoping for the best. Hopefully those who win will serve the country well, and we can hope for the best.

“I personally didn’t vote in favor of personal services, as they say,” he continued. “I voted for someone on the basis of well-defined issues and aims for the future, for the people and the future of our children and grandchildren. I didn’t vote on the basis in services, we don’t need services. We need someone who will fight for the future of this parliament and the future of the country, and our children. As for personal interests, that isn’t for us.”

“To boycotters,” he added, “I hope that God guides them correctly, and that they partake. In the end, Kuwait is a small country, we don’t want it to be broken apart in different directions. The country needs them, as do we.”

By: Joana Saba Arab Times Staff

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