Kuwaiti voters are casting their ballots on Tuesday to choose representatives for the National Assembly during its seventeenth legislative session.
The 2023 parliamentary elections are eagerly anticipated due to the potential to address the ongoing political crisis in Kuwait.
Over the past four years, Kuwait had established three consecutive legislative assemblies.
On Tuesday, a total of 793,646 eligible voters will choose 50 deputies out of 207 candidates, including 15 female candidates, in a voting process conducted under the single-vote electoral system.
Leading up to the electoral silence, candidates have made efforts to convey their messages to the public.
These messages varied from persuasive speeches aimed at convincing voters to strategic communications for building alliances within the National Assembly.
This year’s elections are witnessing the participation of two prominent figures.
First, former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ahmed Al-Sadoun (Third District), who is nearing the age of 90, was elected as the Speaker for the first time in 1985.
After the liberation of Kuwait and upon the return of the National Assembly, Al-Sadoun served as a member and Speaker in 1992 and 1996.
In 1999, the late businessman Jassim Al-Kharafi managed to defeat Al-Sadoun and held the position until 2012 when Al-Sadoun returned as the Speaker once again.
Al-Sadoun then declared that he would not run under the single-vote system. However, he did participate in the 2022 elections and achieved a record-breaking number of votes, surpassing 12,000.
He became the Speaker of the National Assembly until his position was invalidated by the Constitutional Court’s ruling.
The other prominent figure is Marzouq Al-Ghanim, who has served as the Speaker of the National Assembly since 2013.
He was re-elected as Speaker in 2020 and served until the dissolution of the National Assembly on December 15, 2020.
Over the course of four years, the National Assembly has been dissolved twice.
In 2022, the parliament was invalidated by a Constitutional Court ruling.
Kuwait has witnessed intense confrontations between the legislative and executive branches, resulting in the obstruction of legislation on economic reforms and contributing to a political deadlock.
Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah called for change after deciding to dissolve the National Assembly, stating that this dissolution was aimed at “rectifying the political scene and addressing the lack of consensus and conflicts.