By Khaled Al-Abdulhadi

KUWAIT: During the National Assembly elections on Thursday, Kuwait Times spoke to some voters to find out about their ambitions, hopes and the major issues they hope will be addressed in the next parliament. Almost everyone was hopeful, stressing this is a time for change, as the old era of favoritism must come to an end and the next Assembly must tackle the major issues affecting citizens in the country. A couple of voters preferred to remain anonymous:

Kuwait Times: What are your hopes for the next National Assembly?

Jassim Al-Kandari: What we are noticing is that we are on the right path. We hope for development, entertainment, housing, healthcare and other things important for our country. We hope there will be 10 electoral districts. Thankfully, we have Their Highnesses the Amir and the Crown Prince in the new era we are all optimistic about.

We, the people: Voters optimistic about change
We, the people: Voters optimistic about change
We, the people: Voters optimistic about change

Salah Al-Amir: My aspiration is for reform. The people's representative whom we have chosen must ride the wave of reformation. We hope the government is serious and we hope the representatives cooperate with the government and develop our country.

Bu Ahmad: We hope for coordination between the government and the National Assembly. We hope new laws are passed and the negative situation is fixed. We are hopeful for development, and we are ambitious. Everyone can feel the negative situation.

Khaled Al-Hamaad: We hope for the best in the next Assembly because Kuwait deserves better than this. We need development and employment for our children, away from needless struggles and infighting in the Assembly. The two branches must agree. We don't want problems - all countries are developing and we must be in line.

Najim Al-Zangaah: We need development; we need capable candidates. I hope to see new faces and real change.

Dr Waleed Al-Tunaib: We hope for stability, and then everything will develop. We will start thinking about education and economic issues. This will even improve the external perspective of the country and our national security will be better, if we are stable. Stability needs us to go through many stages - the previous stages were needed in order to develop, as it happened with other democratic countries that improved.

Hani Al-Khaldi: This is a message for everyone. The interests of Kuwait are more important than anything. Their Highnesses the Amir and Crown Prince have insisted that we must look for the interests of the country. This election is crucial - there is no place for nepotism and voting for relatives. We must vote for the candidate who defends the rights of Kuwait, and this will secure our future and make Kuwait return as the pearl of the GCC.

We, the people: Voters optimistic about change
We, the people: Voters optimistic about change
We, the people: Voters optimistic about change

Dr Waleed Hamadah: We hope the MPs perform their legislative role and put forth laws for the interest of the country and nationals. We hope they stay away from infighting, so that Kuwait becomes better than it was before.

Salah Al-Farhan: We hope things will be better, but all we have seen is abusive language from the candidates. I think things will remain the same from what I have heard from the candidates' speeches. I am not optimistic.

Musaad Al-Fadhli: Our choice is for the honest candidate who performs their duty towards the country and thinks of the country's interest rather than their own interest. The country needs understanding people who do not think about ethnicities and religious differences. They should only think that Kuwait deserves the best through their services. Kuwait is our mother, and we hope the situation becomes the pearl of the GCC once again. We hope they perform their full duties from their hearts that Kuwait deserves.

Bader Al-Damkhi: My expectations for the current election outcomes are different from the previous ones due to the great speech of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, that touched on essential things the country is suffering from. When the results become better, they will automatically impact other things, including foreign affairs.

Anonymous 1: My hope is that we find solutions for the housing problem and develop education. We hope for more job opportunities for young Kuwaitis. We need more infrastructure development and entertainment projects. We want Kuwait to return as it was - the pearl of the GCC. All the best for the candidates who will win.

Anonymous 2: We hope the National Assembly is full of achievements, away from infighting. We are hopeful for a popular speaker of the Assembly and a reformative government.

We, the people: Voters optimistic about change
We, the people: Voters optimistic about change
We, the people: Voters optimistic about change

Kuwait Times: What are the most important issues that must be addressed?

Jassim Al-Kandari: They must look out for our citizens and retirees. Our middle class is vanishing, and it is getting worse. They must increase salaries and write off debts.

Salah Al-Amir: Firstly, we must get rid of nepotism. I am a citizen with rights, and I should not resort to a representative in order to get my rights. Wasta must end, and the candidate should not make citizens feel that they owe them a favor. Secondly, we want to fix the country, and if we fix these two issues, we will start moving forward towards the right path.

Bu Ahmad: We must fix housing, healthcare, education and infrastructure, as well as employment.

Khaled Al-Hamaad: We must fix employment issues. It is not right that a college graduate remains jobless for two years, or their salaries are low while there is inflation everywhere. Moreover, we need more services related to infrastructure and the roads. We need housing quickly - our children should not wait for 25 years to get a house.

Najim Al-Zangaah: We must fix education and healthcare. We have many problems such as the situation of stateless residents, who must have their rights.

Ahmad Al-Shutairi: We must fix education and health.

Dr Waleed Al-Tunaib: Our most important issue is education. Once we fix our education, then everything will improve. This starts with raising our kids correctly at home.

Hani Al-Khaldi: We have many issues such as education and sports. We must start with our most important internal problems. Thankfully, our reputation is known all over the world. We hope that candidates give the best for the interest of Kuwait.

Dr Waleed Hamadah: We must fix social problems such as housing issues and the rise in real estate prices. The education issue must be looked after, especially after the pandemic. We must also look after healthcare. We must look at the problem of salaries. We have heard of unifying salaries in various sectors. We must fix the unemployment problem and must defeat nepotism and wasta. We must execute development programs that make Kuwait an attractive environment rather than a repulsive one. There are many factors, and we hope that the upcoming Assembly will be a reformative one rather than an aggravating one.

Musaad Al-Fadhli: The citizen is the base of the country. If you provide them their rights and the means to give back to their country, then it is necessary to provide them with education, healthcare and housing, along with debt relief. For those with weak financial means, it is very hard to survive and produce for their country. The citizen asks for representatives to give them their rights and set regulations that will lead to security, comfort and stability in the country.

Anonymous 1: Education, education and education. If we fix the education problem, then everything will be better.

Anonymous 2: We must fix education, then healthcare and roads.

Kuwait Times: Do you think women will have a chance to win and resolve their problems?

Jassim Al-Kandari: Women are base of society - we hope some female candidates will be elected.

Bu Ahmad: Maybe the chances of women aren't the best, but we hope the candidates who win will take care of women's issues and fix them, as they are half of the society.

Khaled Al-Hamaad: Women are our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters, and they all deserve the best. But from the visits of some candidates, we do not see strength in their speech. For example, one candidate was saying that once I get to the National Assembly I will work - but we need to know what her goals and program are before being elected.

Najim Al-Zangaah: We hope that she wins. In my opinion, we need half of the Assembly to be women.

Bader Al-Damkhi: I am supporting the presence of women in the Assembly, especially with the previous experience that was great and led to improvement in women's issues.

Anonymous: Women candidates might have a chance, and we hope they have good programs.

In conclusion, most voters are hopeful and want to see change from previous elections.