Recent Kuwaiti National Assembly elections have revealed a notable transformation emerging within the parliamentary makeup.
Election results, announced on June 7, indicate a relative progression of opposition factions and a notable representation of the youth.
However, a disheartening setback is evident for women, as their parliamentary representation has dwindled to a mere single seat.
As of this report’s writing, the official voter turnout percentage for these elections has not been officially announced. However, observers have estimated it to be between 50% and 56% based on reports from delegates in the constituencies.
The opposition has once again repositioned itself within the newly elected National Assembly, as its affiliated members, representing multiple blocs, have secured 29 out of 50 seats. This number is lower than the previous Assembly, where the opposition held onto 38 seats.
Moreover, the rate of change in the 2023 parliament compared to the 2022 Assembly - which was invalidated by the Constitutional Court - stands at approximately 24 %.
Ten new deputies, mostly young individuals, have seized their first opportunity to enter the parliamentary sphere.
Additionally, 25 former deputies have returned to the Assembly, while 12 newly elected deputies from the nullified 2022 Assembly have retained their seats.
One of the most significant surprises of these elections was the resurgence of the opposition, reclaiming its position in the parliamentary landscape, accompanied by the rise of young representatives in the new Assembly.
With the youth achieving prominent positions in terms of votes within their respective constituencies, the elections witnessed a significant decline in the popularity of prominent deputies, some of whom garnered less than half of the votes they received in the previous term.
In the electoral process conducted under a single voting system, the eligible voters, numbering 793,646 individuals, have chosen 50 deputies out of a pool of 207 candidates, including 15 women.
The religious currents of the Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood have maintained their position within the parliament, while the populist, liberal, and Shiite Islamist forces have experienced a decline.
It is nearly certain that the seasoned parliamentarian Ahmed Al-Sadoun will become the Assembly’s speaker, as the former speaker has suffered losses among many of his allies.
Deputy Saud Al-Asfour, who received the highest number of votes nationwide, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the upcoming Assembly will be more challenging for Prime Minister Ahmed Al-Nawaf than the nullified 2022 Assembly, due to the “different nature of the elected deputies.”
“The previous council was entirely aligned with Sheikh Al-Nawaf, whereas the upcoming council is expected to include some elements believed to be in disagreement with him,” Al-Asfour explained.
Al-Asfour believes that the premier bears a significant responsibility, which is “to form a strong government that is able to deal with the Assembly by establishing a cohesive team with a clear and capable plan and vision, capable of achieving some popular achievements that resonate with the people.”
Likewise, Al-Asfour contends that the members of the 2023 Assembly hold a substantial obligation to prevent the recurrence of past errors made by the legislative body in 2022. These errors primarily revolved around the absence of prioritization and the lack of coordination among the members.