KUWAIT CITY, April 13: Hundreds of Filipinos in Kuwait flocked to the Philippine Embassy on Saturday to cast their votes as the Overseas Voting for all Filipinos officially opened in various Philippine embassies and consulates across the globe.
Filipinos in Kuwait who have registered at the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) can cast their votes in the midterm national elections wherein they will select 12 senators and one party list representative. The Overseas Voting in Kuwait started on Saturday till May 13, 2019.
Kuwait has 96,423 registered voters and ranks fifth among highest in the Middle East and Africa region. Dubai ranks first with 209,862 followed by Riyadh (169,401), Abu Dhabi (109,366) and Jeddah on the fourth spot with 103,349.
“We are very happy to see a good voters turnout on the first day. We can see that a lot of voters started lining up outside the embassy as early as 6:00 am. This is a good sign. We hope we can have at least 50 percent turnout of the total registered voters. We are calling on everyone to come to the embassy and vote,” stated Philippine Embassy Charge d’ Affaires Mohd Noordin Pendosina Lomondot.
Among the over 500 Overseas voters who voted on the first day was Rudy Ong together with his wife Magnifia, who has been working as an engineer in Kuwait since 1985. The couple had not voted for years however this time, they decided to participate in the national elections before they finally retire to the Philippines.
“We’re so excited. It was quick and we’re very happy to try the automated election and the vote counting machine is amazing,” beamed Rudy.
The Middle East and Africa has the highest number of Overseas Filipino voters with 887,744 and this could be considered a swing vote that can spell out a big difference on the results of the 2019 Philippine elections.
The Asia Pacific has 401, 390 while the Americas has 345,415 and Europe with 187,624 registered voters. Registered voters may cast their votes from April 13 till May 13, 2019 including weekend from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, however, on the last day on May 13, 2019, the voting will be from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm only.
The Voting Centre will be on the ground floor at the Philippine Embassy in Al Siddeeq area. To vote, all registered overseas voters in Kuwait are advised to bring the Philippine passport or Civil ID, or any Philippine government-issued ID such as UMID, SSS ID, Driver’s License, PRC ID, OWWA or iDOLE, Voter’s ID and other valid IDs.
By Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff