• June 13, 2006
  • 6 minutes read

Kuwaiti Elections: Cornerstone of Political Reform

Kuwaiti Elections: Cornerstone of Political Reform

In an interview with Nasser el Saneh, the former Kuwaiti MP and a candidate of the Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM)-the Muslim Brotherhood Kuwaiti  chapter- for the upcoming parliamentary elections in Kuwait, affirmed that the future of political reform is dependent on the ability of Kuwaiti voters to choose the most efficient candidates and monitor their performance in parliament. Al Sanea pointed out the Constitutional Movement, along with all national political forces, will monitor the tarnsparency of the voting process and coordinate campaigns in the run up for the election. The followings are excerpts of the interview

Q: What are the chances of winning for the Constitutional Movement under the “25 Constituency” system?

A:Firstly, we strongly criticized this system but it was imposed on us after dissolution of the Parliament. Secondly, the movement surveyed all constituencies, and soon it will announce the names of its candidates and the other national and Islamic forces which the movement intends to support, so the chances are very good.

Q: Do you intend to coordinate with other national forces  

A: We certainly will ,God willing. There is a common ground between the national and Islamic political forces especially following the amendment of constituencies’ law, which led to  heated activities within the Kuwaiti political arena.  

Q:  Will there be a coordination with the 29 –member bloc?

A: well, there is already a wide range of coordination between them with the exception of some constituencies, but we hope for more. 

Q: Do you expect this coordination to enhance their role in parliament after you have won the elections ?

 A: I expect more intensifying campaigns within the consistencies, and each candidate is expected to focus on his/her own constituencies to win the votes.

Q: Will the recent modifications in the constituencies’ Law survive when the new parliament elected?

 A: The government would have accepted the modification even if the parliament was not dissolved. However, we are optimistic about these modifications and hope that the coming parliament introduce modifications to constituencies in line with  the public opinion’s aspirations .

Q: What are the priorities of the Constitutional Movement in the coming parliament ?

A: One of our priorities is speeding up the pace of reform and invigorating the anti corruption campaign, which is very significant in the eye of the Kuwait citizen given the cases before the court on embezzlement of public fund and illegal gains. We hope that the Kuwaiti electorate bring to the parliament those members who are able stop this barrage of corruption. We are going to handle several issues, most importantly, is the political reform, but which also include  constituencies, fairness of the election and adjusting the entire electoral process, forming parties, code of ethics of the parliament in terms of action and performance, accountability of officials especially their accounts statements, demands we hope to materialize and get backing from the new parliament.

Q: What about the social issues ?

A: We will continue to give momentum to moral reform founded on our Islamic values, including protecting the younger generations from westernization attempts, an issue which we handle via mechanisms based on a clear vision and ultimate goals 

Q: How is your relationship with government and how will it be in the near future ?

A: The election will bring about a new government which will take into account the election results and accept them. We are optimistic about  the new government, which of course will only form after the start of the new parliament.

Q: What role women are expected to play in backing the Constitutional Movement candidates ? 

 A: All studies and analyses suggest the existence of a massive women electoral base, so we as an Islamic current count on them for their support, given the fact that this is the first test for the Kuwaiti women voting.

Q: Do you expect any women candidates to win?

A: Unfortunately, all indications suggesting it will be a remote likelihood, but the election ballot boxes always bring surprises.

Q: How do you see the future of the political reform in Kuwait?

A: It all depends on the performance of the Kuwaiti voters. In particular, they have to draw a demarcation line between the public issues and personal ones, and they should choose the best who can represent them taking into account how far the candidates commit themselves to what they have promised in their election campaigns.