(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA))
By Nasser Al-Shalabi
KUWAIT, Sept 28 (KUNA) -- Kuwaiti voters, men and women, will go to the polls tomorrow Thursday, in five electoral constituencies, to cast their votes and elect members of the National Assembly (Parliament) for the 17th legislative term of 2022.
Voters will bear responsibility to reshape the course of the political scene and choose the right candidates that would best serve them and the nation.
While being presented with the ballot paper, voters would recall His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's speech, which was delivered on his behalf by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, stressing on choosing the strong, trustworthy, and faithful in Almighty Allah and then his country, and who puts the interest of Kuwait and its people above all.
Among the 305 candidates running for the National Assembly elections, Kuwaitis will choose 50 members to represent them in Parliament, with 795,911 eligible voters.
The voting process, which takes place according to the one-vote system, will start from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. local time, after which heads of the electoral committees will announce the end of the voting process, and beginning of counting followed by the announcement of the official results.
The First constituency will have 48 candidates and the number of eligible voters is 100,185.
The Second constituency will also have 48 candidates competing to win the votes of 90,478 eligible voters.
In the Third constituency, 47 candidates are competing to win the votes out of 138,364 eligible voters.
The Fourth constituency will see 80 candidates competing to win votes out of 208,971 voters.
Lastly, the Fifth constituency will witness 82 candidates competing to win votes out of 257,913 voters.
In terms of eligible voters, every Kuwaiti who has reached the age of 21 on polling day after he or she automatically registered in the voters' list, must bring his or her citizenship certificate and civil identifications to polling station.
In the event of losing the citizenship certificate, the Ministry of Interior's General Administration of Nationality and Travel Documents is ready to receive the voters on polling day and issue a certificate (To Whom It May Concern) enabling them to vote.
Voters could inquire about the polling stations via (Sahel) application or visit the website of the Ministry of Interior.
The Ministry's Elections Affairs Department has allocated a hotline number (1889-888) to respond to any inquiries from voters from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m..
The 2022 elections will be held in line with Decree No. 136 of August 2nd, 2022 to dissolve the previous Assembly due to 'incompatibility, non-cooperation, differences, conflicts, giving priority to personal interests, including practices and behaviors that threaten national unity.' The political leadership decided 'to resort to the people of Kuwait, respect their wishes, so that they can correct the course of the political scene in a manner that achieves the country's best national interests.' The political leadership also underlined to citizens the importance of the country's future and requirements of the next phase to better elect representatives to reflect their aspirations, achieves their hopes and implements their desires, expressing hope that the choice will not be based on bias to the sect, tribe or a group at the expense of the nation.' Last August, also a Decree No. 147 of 2022 was issued setting September 29 as a day for voting, in which government departments would be on holiday.
Preparations for voting day by government are finalized in order to provide the most suitable atmosphere for voters to perform their national duty to the fullest. Police forces will be deployed to facilitate and simplify the procedures during voting day.
The Ministry of Education announced the designation of 123 schools as polling stations, including five schools, which were chosen as main committee, and 118 schools were chosen as sub-committees polling stations distributed in all five constituencies.
Meanwhile, Director-General of Kuwait Municipality and Chairman of the Joint Committee for the National Elections (Umma 2022) Ahmad Al-Manfouhi said that they have adopted an integrated plan to organize and facilitate the voting process in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and other bodies concerned with elections to highlight the country's democratic practices in its finest depiction.
The Ministry of Information confirmed its readiness to carry out a comprehensive and detailed coverage through a network of correspondents, five external studios and a central studio for television coverage from 8 am to 8 pm, in addition to (Studio 800) to cover vote counting hub and announcing the results swiftly and accurately.
Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information, Mohammad bin Naji, said that the ministry has established a media center in order to facilitate the tasks of local and international reporters on the election day, and has provided all logistical capabilities and information about the elections, National Assembly history, women's rights, and the Kuwaiti democratic experience so vividly.
With the approaching polling day, Minister of Information and Culture, and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Abdulrahman Al-Mutairi stressed on the importance of media coverage and meeting the aspirations of citizens with a high level of professionalism and objectivity, which should reflects on Kuwaitآ's media mission and values and highlights the distinction of Kuwait democracy.
On another front, Minister of Health Dr. Khaled Al-Saeed, affirmed on the readiness of the ministry to keep pace during election day by raising the level of preparedness and providing medical staff and ambulances in all polling stations according to a plan prepared for this purpose.
Kuwait Fire Force also confirmed its readiness to deal with any emergency in the 2022 elections by developing a plan to secure polling stations, including the distribution of 36 firefighting points equipped with rapid intervention mechanisms, in addition to distributing a force from the prevention and control sectors.
The Youth Public Authority announced a voluntary opportunity for youths to organize polling centers in cooperation with the General Directorate of Civil Defense.
As for the civil society organizations participating in 2022 election, the Kuwait Transparency Society announced that 91 observers will monitor the elections, and to ensure the integrity and transparency process throughout the day.
Observers will be allocated to polling stations and ID cards will be given to them in coordination with the Ministry of Interior.
The Public Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) expressed its hopes that the electoral process would emerge in a manner that befits the reputation of the State of Kuwait and achieve the hopes and aspirations of its people.
Such preparations were preceded by taking measures to enhance positive participation in the election process, starting with the issuance of a decree on the adoption of voting for the elections of members of the National Assembly according to current home address asa registered in their civil IDs, so that the Parliament truly and completely reflects the will of the nation, in addition to enabling all those who have the right to vote to use their electoral right granted by the constitution.
Another vital decree was also issued regarding the addition of new residential areas to the five constituencies. For its part, the Ministry of Information referred 38 media outlets to the Public Prosecution for violating criteria of media coverage, advertising and promotion, pursuant to Ministerial Resolution 143 of 2016.
The ministry also stressed the need for some media outlets not to influence public opinion through publication of forecast of opinion polls and analysis that suggest victory for a particular party or candidate in violation of Article (VI) of Resolution 143. (end) ns.mb
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