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

KUWAIT: Several citizens from the fourth constituency expressed confidence that candidates who care for the people will win, adding they expect a good number of opposition MPs to be victorious, with a 70 percent turnover in the constituency. They said some tribal candidates have a good chance to win, and they intend to defend citizens and their issues that were ignored in the past. They said the most important issues that interest them include revocation of nationalities, housing, education and bedoons.

Fahd Al-Dhafiri, who works for the social affairs and labor ministry, said housing is very important and must be tackled strongly, because most youth are suffering because of it. He added bedoons' rights have been ignored "although they have been living among us for more than 50 years", and the upcoming Assembly should serve them justice.

Hind Al-Harbi, who works for the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) as an engineer, said projects like roads and bridges should be built quickly to avoid problems. She urged the coming Assembly to pay attention to issues that concern citizens. She said new residential areas need planning that is parallel to the construction activity to avoid burdening the old roads network.

Meanwhile, in the fifth constituency, several young voters expressed optimism about electing the best among the candidates among men, but said it was difficult for women to succeed in this constituency. They said there is a heavy presence of tribes in this area, especially the Awazem, from whom a good number of candidates are expected to win. Their concerns include nationality withdrawals, housing, health and education.

Meanwhile, a judge in the fourth district cancelled the vote of a man because he is mentally disabled and did not know whom he wanted to vote for. He had arrived at the polling station with his brother. Another vote of a woman was scrapped after she attempted to photograph her ballot paper by phone. On the other hand, the education ministry warned school administrations not to celebrate if a candidate who is a relative of one of the employees wins. The ministry asked administrations not to get involved in such matters and concentrate on educational affairs.


Social Affairs and Labor Minister Hind Al-Subaih lauded security efforts to ease the voting process after she cast her vote at Yousuf bin Essa School in Abdullah Al-Salem in the second constituency. She hoped the coming Assembly will concentrate on development and work together for the sake of Kuwait. Meanwhile, Dr Fayeza Al-Kharafi, voting in the same school, asked voters to vote for competent candidates, adding "we should elect 50 candidates who work for the country's development and tackle issues such as housing and education and stay away from conflicts and disputes".

The interior ministry's relations and security information director general Brig Adel Al-Hashash said 15,000 security personnel are participating in securing the elections. Farwaniya Governor Sheikh Faisal Al-Humoud Al-Malik Al-Sabah toured several election committees in various areas of the governorate. He said he is satisfied with the election process and optimistic about its success.

Meanwhile, State Minister of Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah said Kuwait is witnessing a highly-organized democratic festival, which means the society wants to participate and make its voice heard. "We in the government hope that we succeed in organizing the voting process through coordination by various departments," he said.

By Meshaal Al-Enezi