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Amir thanks poll participants; Al-Ghanim, Al-Saadoun back for likely Speakership

KUWAIT CITY, June 6: Kuwaitis on Tuesday thronged to the polling stations to vote for their representatives in the 17th National Assembly. A total of 793,646 citizens — 388,099 men and 407,812 women — are eligible to vote for 50 lawmakers out of 207 candidates; including 13 women ( two in the First Constituency, three each in the Second and Third constituencies, four in the Fourth Constituency and one in the Fifth Constituency); while118 schools in the five constituencies are allocated as polling stations. An average number of voters queued in the early hours of the election that started at 8:00 am.

First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, and Acting Defense Minister Sheikh Talal Khaled Al- Ahmad Al-Sabah arrives for an inspection tour of polling stations involved in the 2023 National Assembly elections on Tuesday, June 6, 2023.

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and acting Minister of Defense Sheikh Talal Khalid Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah visited some polling stations to ensure proper implementation of procedures, during which he instructed the General Traffic Department (GTD) to refrain from issuing citations to those parking in areas not designated for this purpose due to the crowd around the polling stations.

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah on Tuesday sent a cable of appreciations to National Guard Chief His Highness Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister and Acting Defense Minister Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled Al-Sabah for their efforts and cooperation during the 2023 National Assembly elections occurred today. His Highness the Amir also appreciated the efforts of Minister of State for Municipality Affairs and Minister of State for Communication Affairs Ali Al-Shola, Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Abdulrahamn Al-Mutairi, Minister of Education and Minister Higher Education Dr. Hamad Al-Adwani, Minister of Justice and Awqaf Dr. Amer Mohammad, Minister of Health Dr. Ahmad Al-Awadhi, Minister of Social Affairs, Women and Children Affairs Mai Al-Baghli and Chief of Kuwait Fire Force Lt. Gen. Khaled Al-Mekrad. His Highness the Amir further appreciated highly the supreme judicial committee’s members overseeing the electoral process.

His Highness the Amir also evaluated national responsibility of citizens towards practicing their constitutional rights to select their candidates freely and transparently. In addition, the Ministry of Health allotted ambulances, paramedics and medical teams for the polling stations to deal with emergencies, if any. In an atmosphere of hope and enthusiasm, voters would be choosing 50 MPs to represent them at parliament in a process that begins at 8:00 am local-time and last until 8:00 pm. The scorching summer weather was not a deterrent for Kuwaitis from all walks of life as they queued in long lines on Tuesday to cast their votes in parliamentary elections.

Kuwaitis search for their names to cast their votes in National Assembly elections on June 6, 2023

While voter turnout varied from one constituency to another, no effort was spared to simplify the voting process in a bid to depict Kuwait in a positive light, while state television urged voters to fulfill the “national obligation” of casting their ballots. There have been a great turnout by the elderly to cast their votes, since the polling stations opened for the 2023 National Assembly elections. They came in early on Tuesday hoping that the next phase would be of political stability, under a frame of cooperation between the legislative and executive authorities, to achieve the hopes of the political leadership of Kuwait and its people. The voting process at polling stations in Kuwait are running smoothly and all efforts would be exerted to make sure that democracy would thrive, said a Kuwaiti government official on Tuesday.

Speaking to KUNA while inspecting a polling station, Minister of Justice and Minister of Awqaf (endowment) and Islamic Affairs Dr. Amr Al-Rattam said that the ministry’s employees were present and available to ensure the transparency and fairness of elections. Minister Al-Rattam commended all the efforts put into making this election a success, hoping that voters would choose suitable candidates for the National Assembly. As the 2023 National Assembly elections started earlier on Tuesday, the civil society organizations were practicing their role in monitoring the flow of the elections process, its transparency and integrity. These organizations were given approval by the cabinet to participate in the 2023 national assembly’s elections by monitoring the voting process, and reporting possible violations to achieve transparency, as well as raising the awareness of voters regarding their rights and encouraging them to participate in the elections.

In a statement to KUNA, Chief of Kuwaiti National Nazaha Society Mohammad Al-Otaibi said that their participation comes within the frame of integrity and transparency of the elections process, noting that 30 supervisors have been distributed among the five constituencies. He added that the society’s efforts are divided into several activities including monitoring voting and sorting processes, as well as raising awareness regarding the importance of the political participation, in addition to issuing periodic reports on the efforts made in the election process while highlighting any violations if found. In a similar statement to KUNA, President of Kuwait Transparency Society Majed Al-Mutairi said that they’ve been working on impartial monitoring since 2008, noting that the society have formed a voluntary teem of 180 members, distributed among the polling stations at the five constituencies who are trained on monitoring in cooperation with Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha).

Al-Mutairi notes that the transparency society base its work on international monitoring standards and cooperate with the concerned authorities to achieve the required goals as well as providing recommendations and suggestions to improve the elections process and boost democracy in Kuwait. The Council of Ministers’ approval to assign Transparency Society as well as other societies to monitor the election process comes as part of the council’s keenness to run the national assembly’s elections with full impartial transparency, noted Al-Mutairi.

Kuwait Council of Ministers recently issued a mandate to several public benefit societies to participate in monitoring the procedures and follow-up of the national assembly elections process, which reflects the importance of the national role of civil society institutions and their involvement in this process. The participation of civil society organizations in monitoring the electoral process is prompting a turning point in Kuwaiti parliamentary elections, affirmed observers on Tuesday. Head of Kuwaiti society of monitoring and reviewing parliamentary performance Nasser Al-Shelaimi told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that this further bolsters citizens’ confidence in the integrity of the process.

Al-Sheliami affirmed that it is an extension of the state’s efforts in defining the rights and freedoms of the individual. He further added that a healthy political atmosphere enables observers to produce accurate analytical statistics. As for Adnan Al-Rashed, head of the Kuwaiti Journalists’ society, he told KUNA that the cabinet decision to allow non-governmental organizations to monitor the process is a testament to the confidence in local bodies. Al-Rashed spoke of the historic role of Kuwaiti journalism in covering election news, as the Kuwaiti came to rely on local media outlets for transparent news items. Al-Rashed urged all media outlets whether modern or orthodox to conform to principles of transparency and integrity.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health urged on Tuesday voters to eat well, stay hydrated, avoid long exposure to the sun and for those with chronic diseases to take their meds regularly, and to not hesitate in asking for help when needed. The electoral committee headquarters have been widely mobilized with medical teams, in addition to 30 fully equipped ambulances that are dispatched to the five constituencies, to provide the highest level of health security for all voters.

There are no immediate health mishaps or emergencies as a result of the ongoing 2023 National Assembly elections, which began earlier on Tuesday, said Health Minister Dr. Ahmad Al-Awadhi. Speaking to KUNA, Al-Awadhi affirmed that he carried out several visits to polling stations throughout Kuwait, inspecting the efforts of 120 clinics, over 600 medical staff, and 30 ambulances providing their services during elections. The minister called on voters to follow health protocols and avoid over exhaustion while casting their ballots. On his part, Dr. Mustafa Redha — Health Ministry Undersecretary — revealed that minor cases of exhaustion and dizziness were ported during the day but nothing out of the ordinary.

Following are the partial election results per constituency as of press time:

First Constituency:
1. Abdullah Al-Mudaf: 1,066;
2. Osama Zaid Al-Zaid: 698;
3. Ahmed Hajji Lari: 645;
4. Hassan Jawhar: 599;
5. Dawoud Sulaiman: 592;
6. Hamad Muhammad Al-Medlej: 540;
7. Osama Al-Shaheen: 506;
8. Adel Jassem Al-Damkhi: 464;
9. Essa Al-Kandari: 447;
10. Saleh Ahmed Ashour: 398;
11. Mohammad Jawhar Hayat: 369;
12. Khalid Al-Tamar Al-Omaira: 340.

Second Constituency:
1. Marzouq Al-Ghanim: 954;
2. Shuaib Shaaban: 763;
3. Abdullah Al-Anbaie: 564;
4. Abdulwahab Al- Essa: 539;
5. Muhammad Al-Mutair: 528;
6. Badr Al-Mulla: 500;
7. Hamad Al-Matar: 405;
8. Ahmed Al-Hamad: 403;
9. Falah Al- Hajri: 367;
10. Fahd Al-Masoud: 351;
11. Badr Al-Anzi: 343; 12. Alia Al-Khaled: 327.

Third Constituency:
1. Mehalhal Al-Mudaf: 1,302;
2. Ahmed Al-Saadoun: 1,154;
3. Abdulrahman Al-Kandari: 1,132;
4. Abdulaziz Al-Saqaabi: 1,082;
5. Muhannad Al-Sayer: 1,073;
6. Jenan Muhssen Bu Shehri: 970;
7. Hamad Adel Al-Obaid: 937;
8. Hamad Abdulrahman Al-Alian: 908;
9. Fares Al-Otaibi: 988;
10. Jarrah Khalid Al-Fawzan: 726;
11. Saadoun Hammad Al-Otaibi: 718;
12. Ibrahim Muhammad Dashti: 673.

Fourth Constituency:
1. Mubarak Homoud Al-Tasha: 846;
2. Muhammad Awad Al-Reqaib: 835;
3. Bader Sayyar Al-Shemmari: 783;
4. Muhammad Hayef Al-Mutairi: 716;
5. Saad Al-Khanfour: 698;
6. Fayez Al-Jomhour: 694;
7. Meteb Al-Zaydi: 678;
8. Shuaib Al-Muwaizri: 673;
9. Muaz Mubarak Al-Duwaila: 653;
10. Mubarak Al-Hajraf: 580;
11. Abdullah Fehad Al-Anzi: 556.

Fifth Constituency:
1. Soud Al-Asfour: 1,508;
2. Hamdan Al-Azmi:1,374;
3. Hani Shams: 998;
4. Muhammad Al-Mahan: 883;
5. Khalid Al-Otaibi: 889;
6. Khalid Saree Al-Hajri: 827;
7. Marzouq Al-Hebeini: 774;
8. Fahd Falah Al-Azmi: 754;
9. Faisal Al-Kandari: 705;
10. Ahmed Mutei Al-Azmi: 682;
11. Abdulhadi Al-Ajmi: 681;
12. Majed Musaed Al-Mutairi: 668.

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