2013 Kuwaiti Elections Turnout Expected to Rise

An accurate count of 439, 715 eligible Kuwaiti voters are anticipated to cast their votes on Saturday to designate new 50 members of the next Kuwaiti Parliament. Male and female Kuwaitis from across the country are only allowed to vote when they reach the age of 21. The number of the candidates who compete for the 50 limited seats in the Parliament have reached to a total of 371 candidates, which is a few more candidates as compared to the 279 candidates of the National Assembly elections held on Dec. 2012. The Kuwait government is composed of 5 constituencies with ten members for each constituency. There is no minimum requirement for a turnout during the casting of ballots.
Despite the known fact that this year’s elections is taking place amidst the Ramadan season for the first time in the history of Kuwait, government officials confirmed that the elections shall push through and started today at 8 in the morning until 8 in the evening.
This year’s election is expecting a huge turnout as compared to the previous elections because opposition supporters boycotted who protested against the one-man-one-vote system. This is because the protesters themselves have already shown interest about participating in the elections since the one-man-one-vote system has been upheld by the verdict of the Constitutional court. In the meantime, according to some reliable sources, this new Parliament will be composed of mostly new faces (about 42%) as compared to that of the previous Parliament.
Also, sources indicated a prediction that there will be thirteen newly-elects who are first timers in the Parliament. Bedouins and Urbanites are expected to capture 20 seats in the Parliament as opposed to 10 that of the Shiites. The eight added members from the previous Parliament are expected to remain on their seats. Also, sources say that they expect some independent candidates from the different social sects are expected to win 35% of the Parliament seats and the remaining fifteen will have to be split among Islamic and political blocs, and other groups.
Meanwhile, Salem Al-Nashi, an activist of the Islamic Affairs, said that the turnout for this year’s elections will increase since majority of Kuwaiti voters will no longer find a good reason in boycotting the elections and that the opposition’s call to boycott will no longer have effect.

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