Last Thursday, the 19th edition of the Kuwaiti parliamentary elections ended in an atmosphere of optimism more than ever, after the state of political obstruction dominated the political process for a long time, and the results of the elections were not alone a reason for general optimism, but were the initiative launched by the political leadership more than 3 years ago. months of elections.
On June 22, 2022, and without warning, the political leadership delivered a historic speech, declaring a break with past practices of interfering in the elections, and not voting for the presidency of the National Assembly and the parliament’s committees;
This was followed by the issuance of a law using the civil ID to prevent the transfer of votes, the serious pursuit of by-elections, and the buying of votes.
Consequently, when the elections took place, the general atmosphere was more optimistic than what preceded it.
As a result, it is almost one of the rare occasions that the government does not become the target of the candidates for attack and criticism. Electoral reforms have exceeded expectations, and have even been welcomed by traditional critics of the government.
This government initiative was a station to restore the declining confidence in the government.
305 male and female candidates contested the elections, spread over 5 constituencies, with the exception of an exchange between some candidates and an attack in seminars or on social media;
The elections proceeded and ended quietly, as the Kuwaiti elections are among the most peaceful, as the judicial authority supervises the voting, counting and announcement of preliminary results. Candidates and voters have the right to appeal to the Constitutional Court against specific results or the elections as a whole. , or cancel certain results;
And then the re-election, and more than one losing candidate announced that they would submit appeals, whether in specific results or in the entire electoral process, and everything is expected.
Out of 305 candidates, 27 women ran, notably 4 women candidates competed, and two won seats in the second and third districts.
National Assembly deputies
The National Assembly consists of 50 deputies, and ministers become members of the Assembly after their appointment, and they are prohibited from joining committees of the Assembly, and they are also prohibited from voting on a motion of confidence.
According to the constitution, the current government is obliged to submit its resignation after announcing the results, then reconstitute it, and take the constitutional oath before the National Assembly, which is scheduled to hold its first session on 11 October.
While the elections for the presidency of the Council are one of the hot issues in the electoral campaign, it was not this time, and this is due to the government’s announcement that it did not vote for the presidency, and that the arena was apparently devoid of competitors, and the announcement by former Council Speaker Ahmed Al-Saadoun that he would run for the presidency, especially after obtaining The highest votes in the parliamentary elections.
As for women, 27 women ran out of 305 candidates, and 4 of them competed significantly to win seats, and two won seats in the second and third constituencies.
The percentage of change came as usual, as it did not exceed 54%, and 23 deputies returned from the previous council, and 27 new deputies, including 16 new deputies running in the elections for the first time, and 11 deputies who were members of previous councils.
It is noted that most of the new MPs (16) are young people;
Which may give vitality to the next council.
It is also noted that most of the former MPs who lost are close to the previous government, and even 3 of them held ministerial positions even before the elections shortly.
Regardless of the political divisions of the winners, they are for the most part far from reality;
The term opposition is not sufficiently applicable to the political situation in Kuwait, despite the presence of critics of the government, and perhaps one of the most prominent weaknesses in the Kuwaiti political system is the individuality of the representatives in their work and their lack of affiliation in collective frameworks, which weakens public performance, disperses efforts, and detracts from the two processes Legislative and oversight, the two main tasks of Parliament.
There was not much new in the current elections, except for the government initiative and its commitment to reform pledges in the electoral facility, which is supposed to be reflected in the continuation and expansion of political reform, and this will be reflected in the style and method of forming the government whose formation consultations will begin directly, its ability to interact with the needs of society, and broadcasting More achievement.
What about the future?
There are no imperatives in the future form of the relationship between the Council and the government, but most of the issues raised are known, and they can only be achieved by consensus, with reference to the 1962 Constitution, from a regulatory point of view.
Politically, there will be no way out of the political impasse that has prevailed for a long time, except with the agreement of the two authorities.
Since politics is not measured by intentions but by results, the government’s initiative in electoral reform has been measured and tested, and it has had to move from electoral reform to expanding political reform, which is a more complex process, and can only be achieved through an effective and capable cabinet.
As for the Council, it is expected that the presidency will be assumed by a consensual president whose interest will be to advance stability, consensus and achievement.
It is expected in the battle to elect the office of the House of Representatives that divisions will occur over the position of vice president, as 3 winning deputies announced their desire to run for that position.
It must be pointed out that in order to reform and rationalize the political decision among the deputies, it became necessary for the new and old deputies to organize in parliamentary blocs, in order to reduce the distortions of the individual.
And if we have a model, it was in the 1992 and 1996 parliaments, when 4 parliamentary blocs were formed that managed to mitigate the harmful individual action.
There is no doubt that we are in front of a new parliament in the full sense of the word, because of the circumstances that gave birth to it, and it is an opportunity that must not be missed, and the representatives - and the government to a greater extent - bear the responsibility of maintaining the sobriety of performance, the integrity of the legislation, and the quality and efficiency of oversight.