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NO CHANGE SEEN IN COMPOSITION OF ASSEMBLY INTERESTS Qudaibi, Lari, Mayouf, Otaibi, Rashidi - No women win in bye-poll

KUWAIT CITY, June 26: Eligible Kuwaiti voters in the Second, Third and Fourth constituencies thronged to the polling precincts Thursday to elect five lawmakers who will fill the seats vacated by National Assembly members whose resignations were accepted on May 15. Ahmed Al-Qudaibi and Ahmed Lari won in the Second Constituency with 2,571 and 1,950 votes respectively; while Abdullah Al-Mayouf and Faris Al-Otaibi took the two vacant seats in the Third Constituency with 2,184 and 2,066 votes; and Mohammad Barrak Al-Rashidi emerged as the big winner in the Fourth Constituency with 7,911 votes.

Other top contenders in the Second Constituency included Saleh Al-Sulaimani with 1,890 votes; Suleiman Al-Azmi with 1,413 votes; Khulaif Al-Kharafi with 1,202 votes and Fajir Al- Saeed with 1,100 votes.

In the Third Constituency, Hisham Al-Baghli came in third with 1,955 votes; followed by Abdul-Aziz Al-Mulaifi with 1,657 votes; Bassam Al-Asousi with 1,131 votes and Nasser Al- Murri with 1,108 votes.

In the Fourth Constituency, Marzouk Al-Khalifa came in second with 4,090 votes; Abdullah Mohammed Al-Mutairi with 3,474 votes; Saud Al-Mutairi with 3,286 votes; Mutlaq Al- Ruwei with 2,546 votes and Mohammed Al-Anazi with 2,518 votes.

It can be recalled that former MPs Riyadh Al-Adsani and Ali Al-Rashed from the Second Constituency, Abdulkareem Al- Kandari and Safa Al-Hashem from the Third Constituency, and Hussain Quwaian Al-Mutairi from the Fourth Constituency resigned in protest against certain actions taken by the government.

They accused the executive authority of stopping interpellations, refusal to respond to parliamentary queries, failure to accomplish projects for the benefit of the public and covering up corruption. National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim on Thursday lauded the by-elections, distinguished with free competition among the candidates. Speaker Al-Ghanim, speaking as he cast his ballot, said he came to the polling station to choose who would represent him in the second constituency.

He also praised the competition by the nominees, namely contents of their manifestos, expressing desire to serve Kuwait sincerely. Kuwait is currently passing through a critical period of its history and this situation has been addressed by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Speaker Al-Ghanim said alluding to His Highness the Amir’s address to the people on Wednesday.

The citizens have comprehended what His Highness the Amir has stated “and they are aware of the challenges,” Speaker Al-Ghanim added. With solidarity of all citizens, “we will live up to the challenges and the Kuwaiti people are blessed,” he said. “By the might of His Almighty, as well as the will of the MPs, a great deal of achievements have been accomplished for the citizens, and further accomplishments will be made in the coming sessions of the National Assembly,” he said. “We have made promises to make achievements for the people at start of the Assembly’s session and now these pledges have been heeded and have become effective,” the Parliament Speaker said.

The by-elections were held amid an ongoing political crisis. Between mid-2006 and last year, Parliament was dissolved six times and there were more than a dozen governments. Atotal of 72 candidates, including four women, contested the elections — 22 from the Second Constituency, 31 from the Third Constituency and 19 from the Fourth Constituency, four of whom are women. The number of eligible voters in the Second Constituency is 50,704, including 23,986 men and 26,718 women; the Third Constituency has 78,601 — 35,838 men and 42,763 women, and the Fourth Constituency has 118,496 — 54,319 men and 64,177 women. The polling precincts closed at 8:00 pm and the counting of votes started around 9:00 pm.

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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