KUWAIT CITY, May 13: The month-long overseas voting at the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait that commenced last April 13 ended on Monday with around 16% voter turnout in Kuwait, breaking all records of the previous years, although it fell short of the embassy’s earlier target of 45 percent of the total 96,423 registered voters in Kuwait.
A total of 15,558 Filipinos in Kuwait have gone out to vote at the embassy in the midterm national elections wherein they have selected 12 senators and one party list representative. “We are very happy with the voters turn out as we have projected two days earlier, we will hit the over 15,000 mark.
This only shows the unity of the Filipinos in Kuwait and their political awakening. Thank you to all our friends in the media and the Filipino community for supporting the Philippine Embassy in this fruitful endeavour that has given all our kababayan here the opportunity to exercise their rights of suffrage” stated Philippine Embassy Charge d’ Affaires Mohd Noordin Pendosina Lomondot. Kuwait with 96,423 registered voters 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. The Philippine Embassy opened its doors at 8:00 am on Monday to accommodate a long queue of voters on the last day.
Among those who voted on the last day was 73-year-old Annalee Macacalad who has been working as a household service worker for 38 years in Kuwait under one employer. “I asked our driver to drop me off at the embassy and wait for me outside. I really wanted to vote and I have to return back home immediately after this,” stated Macalalad as one of the Embassy’s Commission on Elections (COMELEC)-deputized staff assisted her at the polling precinct.
The Embassy’s Commission on Elections (COMELEC)-deputized officers and staff gave priority to senior citizens and those who came to the embassy with their kids. “It’s the first time for my wife to vote and we have selected the same candidates. We are very happy of doing this together. We have to elect the deserving candidates to the senate,” shared Nixon Bansil who was with his wife Charlene and kid.
As of press time, the canvassing of ballots is ongoing at the embassy and election results are expected to be out Monday late evening or Tuesday early morning. Meanwhile, regular Consular Services at the embassy will resume on Wednesday, May 15.
By Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff