Kuwait: Zero Hour for Elections

Kuwait is all set for its National Assembly elections on Saturday (May 17). A total of 246 male candidates and 27 female candidates are running for 50 seats in the hotly contested elections, which should be held every four years. Elections are however held earlier if the Emir (Ruler) exercises his constitutional power to dissolve parliament and that is what happened on May 21, 2006, when the Emir dissolved the National Assembly through constitutional means and Kuwait held national elections on June 29, 2006. 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. With the election date so close, it is no wonder that Kuwaiti blogs are full of election material.

Amer over at Hilaliya gives his reason why he is so into the elections this year:

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not ‘social’ individual, not social in the Kuwaiti ‘political animal’ sense of visiting diwaniyas, campaign headquarters, and ‘getting out the vote’

“What's gotten into you?” relatives and close friends ask.

But the answer is simple really…The country is in a severe state of gridlock, buffered by corruption, waste and inefficiency. Now we have no control over who the government appoints to run the country but we do have the power to make the right choice on May 17.

Forzaq8 over at 5-Q8 writes his final thoughts on the elections:

Election should be taken seriously , it is not a game
Tomorrow your Vote decide your future and your sons future
for example don't ask why didn't they build a new hospital when the member you voted for didn't approve the funding for it , and more example could be said

Still on the topic of the elections, Aggz The Aggressor writes a brief history of democracy in Kuwait:

Many may argue against this post, though I hope it ‘at least’ makes sense to most readers.

We’ve come to realize that democracy in Kuwait is something of a unique experience, especially to those of us that never saw Kuwait in it’s infancy

Away from the elections, Dr Mahbob brings us news of an agreement between the government and Knet (Knet is a national company providing electronic banking services to all the banks in Kuwait) and what he thinks of it.

I think this is big step toward e-payment and I hope hackers don’t show up when the smell chance of stealing money online.

Q8Ba7th writes about his experience going to P2BK2008:

P2BK is a new youth initiative to organize annual forum for small and startup businesses. A healthy and definitely needed concept I say for startups and small business who can’t afford to take place in big expos like Info Connect and others.

And finally Ducatiq8 explains his feelings when he abides by the new law of not using his cell phone while driving:

اليوم كان اول يوم يطبق فيه قانون منع استخدام الهاتف النقال يدويا أثناء القيادة
طبعا ديكاتي مواطن صالح وملتزم و تقي وورع وكل الصفات الزينه فيني
اليوم اول ما ركبت المركبة(أخييه يا انا يا ابو مركبه) المهم حطيت عدتي
وطلعت السماعه وقعدت اضبطها لإن وايراتها متعربكه فقعدت اطلعهم وحطيتها على رقبتي
Today was the first day for the implementation of the law that forbids using mobile phones while driving. Of course, Ducati is a good law abiding devout committed citizen and all the good things are in me. As soon as I got into my car today, O got my kit out and the earphone and started setting them up because wires were tangled and then put it around my neck.
ووصلناها بالتلفون واستلمت القياده
الواحد واهوه يطبق القانون يحس بشعور حلو يعني وانا اسوق واطالع يميني ويساري يعني شوفوني ترا مطبق القانون
المهم وصلت الكلية ونزلت من السيارة وانا معلق السماعه
والناس تشوفني الله شوفوا ديكاتي مطبق القانون والبنات يأشرون شوفي شوفي مطبق القانون
I then connected it to the phone and started to drive. When a person follows the rules, he develops a good feeling. I was looking left and right, trying to show others that I was abiding by the law! I then arrived at the college and got out of the car, with the earphone dangling around my neck and people were looking at me and saying to themselves: ‘Oh look! Ducati is abiding by the law! Even the girls were pointing at me.
وصلت عند المحاضرة والربع واقفين سلمت عليهم والكل يقولي ها ديكاتي مطبق القانون
اقولهم اي والله شسوي طبقت القانون
دشيت المحاضرة وبدأ الدكتور بالكلام وافتتحها بالكلام عن القانون واخذني كمثال جيد لتطبيق القانون
يقولي الدكتور ها ديكاتي اشوفك مستانس شكلك اول مره تطبق القانون
وانا اضحك اي والله شنسوي يا دكتور طبقنا القانون
I arrived at my lecture location and found my friends standing there. I said hello to them and everyone was saying: ‘Oh Ducati, you are implementing the law?’ I told them I had to. At the lecture, the professor started his talk speaking about the new law and set me out as an example of someone who abides to the law. He then told me it looked as if it was the first time for me to implement the law. I laughed and said: ‘What can I do Doctor, we followed the law?’
تدش الجمعيه ويشوفك الكاشير ويقولك طبقت القانون اتقوله اي
تروح ستاربكس يطلعلك الفلبينو هاي سير يو سيم ذات يو طبقت القانون او الرول
وانا اقوله يس يس مي طبقت ذا قانون
تروح المسجد تصلي ويقولك الشيخ احسنت جزاك الله خير انت مثال يحتذى به لتطبيق القانون
ترجع البيت ابوك يشوفك يقولك عفيه على ولدي انا ربيتك على تطبيق القانون وتربيتي ما راحت بلاش وهذا انت طبقت القانون
You enter the supermarket and the cashiers see you and asks: ‘You are following the law?’ and you say yes. And then you go to Starbucks and the Filipino there says: ‘Hi Sir. It seems that you implemented the new law!’ and you reply: ‘Yes, yes, I did.’ You go the the mosque to pray and the Imam tells you: ‘May Allah reward you for being a good example and abiding by the law. And finally you return home, where you meet your father, who tells you: ‘Congratulations to you my son. I raised you to respect the law and I have not failed in that as I see you implementing the law!’

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