Kuwait is gearing up for another round of Parliamentary elections on Saturday (May 17), allowing women to cast votes and nominate themselves for the second time in the country’s history.
Fifty seats are being contested in the elections, for the National Assembly (Majlis al-Umma). Kuwait’s 1962 constitution calls for elections to the unicameral National Assembly every four years. Elections are held earlier if the Emir (Ruler) exercises his constitutional power to dissolve parliament. On May 21, 2006, the Emir dissolved the National Assembly through constitutional means and Kuwait held national elections on June 29, 2006. The voters selected the 50 members of the country’s National Assembly and for the first time ever, women in this Arab country were able to vote. On March 19, the Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah dissolved parliament again after constant clashes between the government and the elected MPs, and called for new elections on May 17.
Amer over at Hilaliya is blogging his ‘election tour,’ where he is going from one campaign headquarters to the other. In his latest post, he visits one of the candidates and writes:
A few nights ago I attended the campaign inauguration of a friend and former colleague of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2nd District candidate Abdullah Al-Yahya, whom I’ve always known to be a candid and fervent defender of the Kuwaiti democratic institution.
Amer also encourages fellow bloggers to write about the elections and says:
Now many Arabic-language blogs and some English-language blogs are already excelling at the election coverage with its smorgasbord of polemic side dishes, but many of you out there still have not taken a dip into the election lake. I urge the Kuwaiti Blogosphere – at least the ones who haven’t touched on the upcoming elections to at least post one story about the upcoming elections, it could be a candidate profile, a television spot, an a campaign rally still, a humorous spoof…you decide.
Do your thing. The results might surprise you.
Meanwhile, Ducati [Ar] writes about how everything in his life now rotates around the elections, saying:
Last but not least, we stop with Aseel [Ar] over at the 5-Q8 blog, who sends a strong message to the women of Kuwait, urging them to use their votes wisely. She notes: