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Sunday , February 28 2021

Poll sees two-thirds lose MP seats

Safa Al Hashem lost her seat; Female candidates fail to win seats

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 6: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Sunday accepted Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah’s Cabinet resignation.

“The resignation of His Highness the Prime Minister and the ministers is accepted and they are tasked to continue on a caretaker basis addressing urgent affairs pending formation of a new Cabinet,” the Amiri Decree stated in part, shortly after the premier tendered his Cabinet resignation to His Highness the Amir.

Addressing His Highness, the Amir, His Highness the Prime Minister noted that he was appointed as head of the government on Nov 19, 2019, adding that Decree 290/2019 tasked him with formation of the government during “this crucial period of our beloved homeland’s history.” His Highness the Prime Minister noted that he and the ministers did their utmost to shoulder the responsibilities accorded to them for serving Kuwait and attain prosperity. “I have keenly supervised the general elections of the new National Assembly to hold the polls freely, transparently and with utmost objectivity despite the very strict precautions warranted by the novel coronavirus,” Sheikh Sabah Khaled noted in part in his address to His Highness the Amir. “By Allah’s testimony, we have been keen on performing the accorded tasks with utmost sincerity and faithfulness,” Sheikh Sabah Khaled affirmed.

Decree
An Amiri Decree was issued on Sunday, calling on the (newly elected) National Assembly to hold the first regular session of the 16th legislative term on Dec 15. The Amiri Decree stipulated that it was issued in accordance with the Constitution, Decree 150/2020 that called on voters to elect members of the National Assembly and declaration of results of the general elections in all electoral districts held on Dec 5, 2020, and after a presentation by the Prime Minister and approval of the Cabinet.

It has stipulated that the National Assembly is called upon to hold the first regular session of the 16th legislative term in the morning of Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020. Accordingly, the Prime Minister will notify the National Assembly about this Decree that will be published by the official gazette. His Highness the Amir sent Sunday cables of congratulations to winners in National Assembly elections, expressing content for the trust they were bestowed with by citizens.

His Highness the Amir wished the new MPs would succeed in serving their constituents and their homeland and in contributing to the development of the homeland and its prosperity. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Meshaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent similar cables to the elected MPs. Kuwaitis elected a new Parliament in an election that saw two-thirds of lawmakers and the country’s only female legislator lose their seats, election results released Sunday showed.

The direction that the new 50-seat National Assembly will take remains unclear as 21 of them will become first-time legislators when they are sworn in Dec 15.

However, the challenges that face them remain the same in this country now struggling with a debt crisis and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Saturday’s election for Kuwait’s Parliament, the freest and most-rambunctious assembly in the Gulf Arab countries, saw an over-60 percent turnout of the country’s more than 560,000 registered voters. Under Kuwait’s system, the country is broken up into five voting districts, from which the top 10 candidates in each go on to Parliament.

Online videos showed celebrations with candidates lifted onto supporters’ shoulders, or in one case, riding a horse into a tent as traditional music blared. The breakdown of what side the new legislators fell on wasn’t immediately clear.

Major blocs include those backing the ruling Al Sabah family, Islamists and relative liberals in this country where alcohol is illegal.

Safa al-Hashem, Parliament’s only female lawmaker, lost her seat after getting only 430 votes compared to 3,273 in 2016. She had gained notoriety for her anti-foreign worker stances, including at one point saying expatriates “must be charged for everything, for medical services, infrastructure and again I say for the air they breath here.”

As is custom after an election, Kuwait’s ruling Amir ordered the Cabinet dissolved ahead of the new Parliament taking its seats. The vote came after the death in September of Kuwait’s ruler, the 91-year-old Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah. Sheikh Nawaf, 83, quickly took power without any opposition.

The outgoing Parliament then approved Sheikh Nawaf’s choice for crown prince, Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmad Al Jaber, the 80-year-old deputy head of Kuwait’s National Guard. The new Parliament will need to make decisions on a number of matters, perhaps none more important than Kuwait’s economy.

Following are the results of the elections:

First Constituency: 1. Hassan Abdullah Johar with 5,849 votes 2. Yusuf Fahad Al-Ghurayyeb with 5,064 votes 3. Ahmed Khalifa Al-Shuhoomi with 4,129 votes 4. Hamad Ahmad Rouhuddine with 3,783 5. Essa Ahmad Al-Kandari with 3,398 votes 6. Ali Abdulrasoul Al-Qattan with 3,320 votes 7. Adnan Abdulsamad Zahed with 3,052 votes 8. Abdullah Mohammed Al-Turaiji with 2,472 votes 9. Abdullah Jassem Al-Mudhaf with 3,437 votes 10. Osama Essa Al-Shaheen with 2,167 votes

Second Constituency: 1. Marzouk Ali Al-Ghanim with 5,179 votes 2. Mohammad Barrak Al-Mutair with 3,456 votes 3. Khalil Ibrahim Al-Saleh with 3,117 votes 4. Hamad Mohammed Al-Matar with 3,903 votes 5. Salman Khaled Al-Azmi with 2,866 votes 6. Khalid Ayed Al-Enezi with 2,565 votes 7. Bader Nasser Al-Humaidhi with 2,534 votes 8. Bader Hamad Al-Mullah with 2,483 votes 9. Hamad Saif Al-Harshani with 2,208 votes 10. Ahmed Mohammed Al-Hamad with 2,195 votes

Third Constituency: 1. Abdulkareem Abdullah Al-Kandari with 5,585 votes 2. Osama Ahmad Al-Munawer with 3,858 votes 3. Muhannad Talal Al-Sayer with 3,565 votes 4. Hesham AbdulSamad Al-Saleh with 3,345 votes 5. Abdulaziz Tareq Al-Saqabi with 3,340 votes 6. Yousef Saleh Al-Fadhalah with 2,992 votes 7. Mubarak Zaid Al-Mutairi with 2,982 votes 8. Saadoun Hammad Al-Otaibi with 2,979 votes 9. Fares Saad Al-Otaibi with 2,942 votes 10. Muhalhal Khaled Al-Mudhaf with 2,904 votes

Fourth Constituency: 1. Shuaib Shabab Al-Muwaizri with 6,200 votes 2. Fayez Ghannam Al-Mutairi with 5,774 votes 3. Musa’ad Abdulrahman Al-Mutairi with 5,750 votes 4. Mohammad Obaid Al-Rajhi with 5,198 votes 5. Saud Saad Al-Mutairi with 5,100 votes 6. Thamer Saad Al-Dhafeeri with 4,935 votes 7. Marzouq Al-Khalifa Al-Khalifa with 4,760 votes 8. Farz Mohammad Al-Daihani with 4,701 votes 9. Saad Ali Al-Rashidi with 4,520 votes 10. Mubarak Haif Al-Hajraf with 4,422 votes

Fifth Constituency: 1. Hamdan Salem Al-Azmi with 8,387 votes 2. Bader Zayed Al-Azmi with 8,371 votes 3. Mubarak Abdullah Al-Ajmi with 6,801 votes 4. Al-SaifiMubarak Al-Azmi with 6,294 votes 5. Khaled Mohammed Al-Otaibi with 5,387 votes 6. Humoud Mebrek Al-Azmi with 5,347 votes 7. Saleh Theyab Al-Mutairi with 5,113 votes 8. Nasser Saad Al-Dosari with 4,750 votes 9. Mohammad Hadi Al-Huwaila with 4,720 votes 10. Ahmad Abdullah Al-Azmi with 4,651 votes

Procedures
On the other hand, Kuwait Transparency Society praised the procedures implemented during the 2020 parliamentary election; while stressing that the election is fair and transparent.

The society pointed out that Kuwait proved its capability to organize elections despite the exceptional circumstances brought about by COVID-19 which forced 73 countries to suspend their elections. In addition, former MP Safaa Al-Hashem conveyed a challenging message after losing in the elections. She asserted she will always remain strong and tough, while vowing to come back stronger as will be proven in the coming days.

Moreover, MP-elect Badr Al-Dahoum, who took the second spot in the Fifth Constituency, invited all the other winners to his house on Monday for consultations. Earlier, Al-Dahoum unveiled his intention to support a certain lawmaker for the speakership. The care-taker Cabinet discussed different topics in a meeting chaired by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled at Bayan Palace on Sunday. In a statement after the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh hailed the recent positive developments iregarding the talks on Gulf states reconciliation.

He noted that it was a result of the great efforts of His Highness the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the current efforts of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, as well as the support of US President Donald Trump. The ministers also listened to a report on the National Assembly’s elections held Saturday, presented by minister Al-Saleh and Minister of Justice and Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Dr Fahad Al-Afasi. Meanwhile, the Cabinet hailed the efforts of all ministries that took part in organizing the elections, and congratulated MPs who won by the choice of the people.

Moreover, in accordance with article 57 of Kuwait’s constitution, the Cabinet discussed the government’s resignation letter, presented by His Highness the Prime Minister to His Highness the Amir. His Highness the Prime Minister thanked His Highness Sheikh Nawaf for his continuous support for all ministers during their term.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh
Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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