Kuwait has entered the crucial phase of electoral silence as it prepares for the upcoming parliamentary elections. The polls are scheduled for the 17th legislative term of the National Assembly and are slated to take place on Tuesday.
The elections will be held across 759 polling stations in five electoral districts, with a total of 793,646 registered voters who will elect 50 deputies.
As public electoral campaigns come to a halt, the focus now shifts to the mobilization efforts of representatives and key supporters, as they work tirelessly to rally behind candidates in the final hours before voting commences.
The last elections, held in 2022, led to a 54% change in the composition of the National Assembly.
The results revealed that about 60% of the winning candidates were classified as opposition deputies. Despite their significant involvement, women were only able to secure two seats. Alia Al-Khaled emerged victorious in the second district, while Janan Bushehri succeeded in the third.
As for the current elections, young candidates have made efforts to present programs aimed at convincing the largest demographic group, the youth, to actively participate in shaping change in Kuwait.
Youth programs have focused on breaking free from the influence of traditional forces that have long dominated the landscape.
Some of these programs have attempted to strongly challenge the narratives of traditional forces in society, including the business community, religious factions, and tribal affiliations.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, two youth candidates stressed that Kuwaiti society draws strong inspiration from the Saudi experience.
“Look at how the dominance of extremist currents, which were keen on exploiting religious sensitivities, has weakened. They have lost their power amid the sweeping changes taking place in the Kingdom,” said the candidates.
According to Dr. Abdullah Sahar, a professor of International Relations at Kuwait University, the political programs of the candidates are almost identical, despite some variation in the terminologies in political speeches and rallies.
Sahar, however, stressed that the core issues are similar, and they include “combating corruption, enhancing freedoms, achieving development, meeting the demands of citizens for a prosperous life, and reforming the country's infrastructure.”
Achieving development and combating corruption are the main concerns that bring the candidates together, emphasized Sahar.
“Kuwait possesses abundant financial and human resources, but they are not effectively utilized to propel the country towards genuine development that can provide us with a diversified and robust economy, sophisticated education, and sustainable growth that can ensure the well-being of our citizens,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.