Kuwait Elections: Rise of Populist Rhetoric, Reform Demands Decline Before Polls

Election rally for one of the candidates in Kuwait’s 2024 National Assembly elections
Election rally for one of the candidates in Kuwait’s 2024 National Assembly elections
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Kuwait Elections: Rise of Populist Rhetoric, Reform Demands Decline Before Polls

Election rally for one of the candidates in Kuwait’s 2024 National Assembly elections
Election rally for one of the candidates in Kuwait’s 2024 National Assembly elections

Kuwaiti authorities are investigating a case involving the manipulation of special elections targeting a specific group in Kuwaiti society ahead of the 2024 National Assembly (parliament) elections.

In a statement released on “X”, Kuwait’s Public Prosecution stated that it has ordered the arrest of two suspects and is in the process of apprehending the remaining individuals, with investigations ongoing.

Over the past two years, the Kuwaiti government has implemented reforms to curb political corruption and reduce the influence of powerful tribal groups, including cracking down on by-elections and enforcing voter registration through civil ID cards to prevent vote-buying.

Several candidates for the 2024 National Assembly elections have been disqualified for failing to meet eligibility criteria, including previous convictions related to by-elections.

Candidates must not have prior felony convictions or convictions for crimes compromising honor, integrity, or religious and royal entities, unless rehabilitated.

As Kuwait's National Assembly elections approach, candidates are using gatherings during Islam’s holy month of Ramadan to connect with voters.

These gatherings, usually held in diwaniyas, are fewer this time. Candidates talk about everyday concerns like financial support and debt relief, promising solutions.

While some discuss political reform and anti-corruption measures, most focus on appealing to voters with immediate promises.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Kuwaiti writer Nasser Al-Abdali expressed concern about the lack of serious agendas in the elections, blaming it on the absence of clear ideologies.

He pointed out that without strong political movements, proposals have become purely populist.

Al-Abdali criticized the government’s role in this trend, saying they now face a choice between meeting populist demands or risking the integrity of the parliamentary system.

He also noted a surge in young candidates offering fresh ideas based on their own experiences in various fields, unlike older deputies who tend to repeat past strategies.

According to lawyer Abdulaziz Boumajdad, there’s nothing groundbreaking in the candidates’ proposals.

“While each presents solutions in their own way, the overall approach remains similar,” Boumajdad told Asharq Al-Awsat.

It is noteworthy that these elections are the third in Kuwait within two years, following previous rounds in September 2022 and March 2023, which were invalidated due to legal issues.



45th Saudi Relief Plane with Aid for Palestinians in Gaza Arrives in Egypt

The plane is carrying shelter items to be transported to the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip. (SPA)
The plane is carrying shelter items to be transported to the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip. (SPA)
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45th Saudi Relief Plane with Aid for Palestinians in Gaza Arrives in Egypt

The plane is carrying shelter items to be transported to the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip. (SPA)
The plane is carrying shelter items to be transported to the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip. (SPA)

The 45th Saudi relief plane, operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) in coordination with the Ministry of Defense, arrived at Al-Arish International Airport in Egypt on Friday carrying shelter items to be transported to the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip.

The assistance is in keeping with Saudi Arabia's historic role in supporting the brotherly Palestinian people in times of crisis.


Saudi FM Makes Phone Call to Algerian Counterpart

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah attends a press conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, August 17, 2023. (Reuters)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah attends a press conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, August 17, 2023. (Reuters)
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Saudi FM Makes Phone Call to Algerian Counterpart

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah attends a press conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, August 17, 2023. (Reuters)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah attends a press conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, August 17, 2023. (Reuters)

The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, made a telephone call to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and National Community Abroad of Algeria, Ahmed Attaf.
During the call, they discussed the latest developments in the region.

Talks also focused on the situation in the Gaza Strip, its surroundings, and the efforts being exerted in this regard.


Saudi Arabia, US Discuss De-escalating Regional Tensions

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. (AFP)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. (AFP)
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Saudi Arabia, US Discuss De-escalating Regional Tensions

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. (AFP)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah. (AFP)

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah held telephone talks on Thursday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the latest developments and means to ease regional tensions.

They discussed issues of common interest, namely the situation in Sudan and Gaza, and the importance of delivering more humanitarian aid to the Palestinian enclave.


Saudi Minister of Defense Receives Ministry's Senior Officials on Occasion of Eid al-Fitr

Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)
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Saudi Minister of Defense Receives Ministry's Senior Officials on Occasion of Eid al-Fitr

Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)

Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz received on Wednesday the ministry's senior officials, who came to congratulate him on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.

Meeting at the Al Safa Palace in the holy city of Makkah, Prince Khalid conveyed the congratulations and greetings of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Supreme Commander of All Military Forces, and Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, on the occasion.

Prince Khalid appealed to God to safeguard the Kingdom, its leadership and people and for security, stability and prosperity to prevail under the wise leadership.


Emir of Kuwait, King of Bahrain Congratulate Saudi Crown Prince on Eid al-Fitr

Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, meets with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in this file photo. (AFP)
Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, meets with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in this file photo. (AFP)
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Emir of Kuwait, King of Bahrain Congratulate Saudi Crown Prince on Eid al-Fitr

Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, meets with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in this file photo. (AFP)
Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, meets with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in this file photo. (AFP)

Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, received on Wednesday a telephone call from Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.

The leaders congratulated each other on the occasion, appealing to God Almighty to return it with goodness and blessings.

Crown Prince Mohammed also received a similar call of congratulations from Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.


Saudi Crown Prince Performs Eid al-Fitr Prayer in Makkah

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, performs the Eid al-Fitr prayer at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah on Wednesday. (SPA)
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, performs the Eid al-Fitr prayer at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah on Wednesday. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Performs Eid al-Fitr Prayer in Makkah

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, performs the Eid al-Fitr prayer at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah on Wednesday. (SPA)
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, performs the Eid al-Fitr prayer at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah on Wednesday. (SPA)

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, performed on Wednesday the Eid al-Fitr prayer at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah.

After the prayer, he received several princes, religious scholars, ministers and senior officials, who congratulated him on the occasion of Eid.


Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Performs Eid Al-Fitr Prayer in Jeddah

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud performs the Eid Al-Fitr prayer at the Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Wednesday. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud performs the Eid Al-Fitr prayer at the Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Wednesday. (SPA)
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Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Performs Eid Al-Fitr Prayer in Jeddah

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud performs the Eid Al-Fitr prayer at the Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Wednesday. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud performs the Eid Al-Fitr prayer at the Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Wednesday. (SPA)

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud performed on Wednesday the Eid Al-Fitr prayer at the Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah.

He was joined by several princes and senior officials who took the opportunity to convey their congratulations and blessings to King Salman on the occasion.


20th Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Poland to Deliver Aid to Ukrainians

Saudi aid continues to arrive in Poland at Rzeszow Airport near the Ukrainian border. SPA
Saudi aid continues to arrive in Poland at Rzeszow Airport near the Ukrainian border. SPA
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20th Saudi Relief Plane Arrives in Poland to Deliver Aid to Ukrainians

Saudi aid continues to arrive in Poland at Rzeszow Airport near the Ukrainian border. SPA
Saudi aid continues to arrive in Poland at Rzeszow Airport near the Ukrainian border. SPA

The 20th Saudi relief flight operated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) arrived on Tuesday in Poland at Rzeszow Airport near the Ukrainian border.

It will cross the border into Ukraine, carrying 50 tons of relief aid, including electric appliances.

The aid reflects the Kingdom's unwavering commitment to supporting the needy people and those affected by crises and difficulties worldwide.


Saudi, Maltese Foreign Ministers Discuss Gaza

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah
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Saudi, Maltese Foreign Ministers Discuss Gaza

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah

The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, received a telephone call on Tuesday from his Maltese counterpart, Ian Borg.

During the call, they discussed the latest developments in the Gaza Strip and its neighboring areas and the efforts to reach peace and stability.


King Salman Congratulates Muslims on Eid, Stresses Need to End Violations against Palestinians

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)
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King Salman Congratulates Muslims on Eid, Stresses Need to End Violations against Palestinians

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. (SPA)

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz congratulated on Tuesday Muslims across the globe on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

In an address on the occasion, he stressed that Eid embodies the values of unity and tolerance.

He underlined the need for an end to the violations against the Palestinian people and to secure humanitarian corridors to deliver aid to end their suffering and allow them to obtain all of their legitimate rights, including the establishment of an independent state.

King Salman added that God Almighty had bestowed Saudi Arabia with several blessings, paramount of which was unity and the honor of serving the Two Holy Mosques and Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.

The Kingdom will forge ahead along the path paved by founder King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman and his heirs, he vowed.