New ‘experience’ of one-vote system was worth a try: voter Some remain sceptical of longevity of new parliament

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 1: As the Kuwaiti voter cast one vote today instead of four, some found the decision to be fairly easy while others grappled with the task of choosing just one among the many candidates. For Zaid Al Moulah, this new ‘experiment’ was worth a try. “We have been through several voting procedures since the seventies.  I think it is worthwhile to see how this one turns out, I am eager for the results.”
He shared that picking one candidate was very hard, “You have to be sure that you are making the right choice. In my opinion, I would have liked two votes, so that I could split my choices but now I am obligated to one. Maybe it will be good.”

While others opposing the emergency decree have abstained from voting, Al Moulah belives that boycotting the elections is negative and doesn’t really accomplish much.

He said, “This is a democracy. I respect the choice of those who did not come out and vote today. But sadly their decision cannot have the impact they want.  For one, there is no law in the Constitution that sets a minimum number of votes for the elected parliament to be legitimate, second we don’t have political parties so the lack of participation is quite random. That is why it is important to participate and why I came out today to cast my vote.”

Aziz al Feeli, who attested to feeling a similar dilemma in choosing a candidate to vote for, likened the new law to a monogamous relationship that requires more commitment from both parties. He ultimately voted according who was best qualified for the job and honest.

“Actually, it has been a long day for me because I came by earlier and I wasn’t allowed to vote because they told me I had a wrong number. So I had to go back and bring some printouts and documents to show them. I made them find me. If I wasn’t determined to make my vote count, I would have just left,” Al Feeli said.  He added that it would bode well for Kuwait if the first agenda of the new elected parliament would be to sit down with the opposition to resolve differences.”

Suhaila Marafie, cast her vote in favour of a female candidate, noting her political capabilities, experience and strength. She considers voting to be not just a privilege and a right of the people but also a duty, “It is my duty to choose the best and it is my duty to help Kuwait move forward.”

She expressed disappointment at the political environment of the last few years and described it as being ‘chaotic’, she firmly belives that ‘one vote will solve the problem’ and bring to surface the best in the country.  But also remains sceptical of the longevity of the new parliament that her fears that the opposition would work on dissolving it within six months. “I hope it will last for the full four years,” she said. 

Nihal Karam from the EPA also expressed due support for the Amir and the emergency decree because each vote becomes more valuable. She hopes that the results would favour new, fresh faces of the highest calibre.

“As I have just one vote, I decided to vote for a woman. This is not just because I myself am a woman but because the women who were previously elected into parliament did a very good job and they deserve my vote,” she said. 

Other voters came out and chose candidates based on various policy issues, Muneera Al Basheer cast her vote based on who would most positively impact education and healthcare while Ibtisam Abdul Ghareeb listed sports as her main concern.

By: Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff

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