By B Izzak
KUWAIT: Kuwaitis cast their ballots on Tuesday for the third time since December 2020 to elect a 50-member parliament they hope will be able to put an end to almost two decades of political turmoil and regain stability. Ballots closed at 8.00 pm after remaining open for 12 hours and counting of votes began immediately in most election centers.
Unofficial estimates put the turnout at a moderate 60 percent, slightly below last year’s turnout of around 63.5 percent. The voting process went smoothly without any incident and no medical cases were reported. As many as 207 candidates, representing a spectrum of affiliations, contested the polls, the lowest number of candidates for at least the past two decades.
Candidates passionately urged citizens to come and cast their ballots to increase the turnout percentage, which was relatively low in the morning and noon, mainly because of the scorching heat of the summer. Initial results were expected to come out after midnight on Tuesday, but full and final results were not expected to be announced before noon on Wednesday.
Since 2003, only the parliament elected in 2016 completed its full four-year term, while the others were either dissolved by HH the Amir or annulled by the constitutional court on nine occasions. This election is the seventh since 2012. Governments were changed at a much faster pace. The repeated dissolutions reflected continued political disputes between MPs and the government and sometimes between MPs themselves. A number of voters expressed frustration and called for stability to advance the country.
“We need to feel stability in this country. We are frustrated that every three to four months a parliament is dissolved or a government resigns,” said a voter in the first constituency. Another voter warned that disputes could destroy the country. “We need honest members who should help advance the country. The people are exhausted and need stability,” said the voter.