Vot­ers op­ti­mistic new par­lia­ment will be more pro­duc­tive

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL - By Nawara Fat­ta­hova

KUWAIT:

The first hours at the polling sta­tions for the 2016 par­lia­men­tary elec­tions yes­ter­day saw a mod­er­ate turnout of all age groups. Se­nior cit­i­zens were seen cast­ing their bal­lots in the first hours of the day in all main and sub-com­mit­tees com­pared with pre­vi­ous elec­tions.

In Salwa in the first con­stituency, Man­sour Al-Man­sour, a 56-year-old re­tiree, voted for former op­po­si­tion MP Adel AlDamkhi, who he be­lieves will win. “I al­ways par­tic­i­pate in the elec­tions - my whole fam­ily is vot­ing. I feel this is a na­tional re­spon­si­bil­ity and I want to vote for an MP who will present a good per­for­mance. I was dis­ap­pointed with the per­for­mance of the pre­vi­ous par­lia­ment, but I’m op­ti­mistic that the new par­lia­ment will be more pro­duc­tive, which will im­prove the sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try,” he told Kuwait Times.

Many can­di­dates have agents rep­re­sent­ing them in com­mit­tees at polling sta­tions to mon­i­tor the vot­ing process. Talal AlHa­madi is an agent of can­di­date Roud­han Al-Roud­han at the Rawda polling sta­tion in the third con­stituency. “Voter turnout has been great - they are com­ing since morn­ing. We ex­pect more vot­ers to come in the evening. Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey we did, our can­di­date is lead­ing here in Rawda, and is in fifth place over­all in our con­stituency. I’m sure he will win,” he pointed out.

Mah­moud Al-Khalif from Egypt is a judge at the main com­mit­tee in Rawda, and this is his first ex­pe­ri­ence here in Kuwait. “I have been judg­ing elec­tions in Egypt for the past 30 years. Com­pared to Egypt, the elec­tions here in Kuwait are much more or­ga­nized. I’m glad to work on these elec­tions, and the vot­ers are dis­ci­plined and co­op­er­a­tive. We haven’t faced any prob­lems, and the ma­jor­ity of vot­ers till now have been younger peo­ple,” he stated.

Mo­hammed Al-Jaber, a 30-year-old em­ployee at the min­istry of awqaf, said he was vot­ing for the first time. “I voted for former MP Ali Al-Omair, as I be­lieve he was pro­duc­tive and had achieve­ments for the ben­e­fit for our coun­try. I wasn’t sat­is­fied with the per­for­mance of the pre­vi­ous Assem­bly, so I de­cided to vote this time, hop­ing for a bet­ter par­lia­ment. I feel that Omair will win, and I hope he will re­solve some of the prob­lems we face,” he said. Fe­male vot­ers at the Adailiya polling sta­tion were un­will­ing to speak to Kuwait Times.

The num­ber of bal­lot pa­pers vot­ers use to mark the name of their can­di­date is the same as the num­ber of reg­is­tered vot­ers. “There are no spare or ad­di­tional bal­lot pa­pers, so each voter can only use one pa­per. If he makes a mis­take, he won’t get an­other one and can tell the judg­ing com­mit­tee about his case. But we haven’t faced any such cases yet. Af­ter the voter re­ceives his bal­lot pa­per, we stamp his cit­i­zen­ship doc­u­ment,” ex­plained judge Hani AlHam­dan at the main com­mit­tee in Khaldiya in the third con­stituency.

KUWAIT: Kuwaitis head to the polls to choose par­lia­men­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tives, in Kuwait City, yes­ter­day. — Pho­tos by Yasser Al-Zayyat and AP

A Kuwaiti woman writes on her bal­lot pa­per be­fore cast­ing her vote for the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions at a polling sta­tion yes­ter­day.

KUWAIT: Ah­madi Gov­er­nor Sheikh Fawaz Al-Khaled Al-Ha­mad Al-Sabah is seen in­side a polling cen­ter yes­ter­day.

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