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Civil Society plays pivotal role in monitoring Kuwait's elections to enhance transparency

By Fahad Al-Saeed KUWAIT, April 3 (KUNA) -- The upcoming parliamentary elections, due on April 4, 2024, come amid pivotal local and regional challenges in Kuwait's modern history.
Kuwait, like other countries, faces challenges, whether at the political, economic, or social levels, in a region that requires concerted efforts to establish pillars of stability and a comfortable life for its people.
Kuwait is keen in every parliamentary election to involve civil society organizations (SCOs) and international observers to monitor the elections for full transparency.
Chairman of Kuwait Transparency Society, Majed Al-Mutairi told KUNA that the Society had monitored the electoral process and all government procedures, especially since following a system of decentralization in managing the electoral process.
He added that the Society also issues periodic reports on how to adjust the electoral process, noting that it has begun monitoring the electoral process since the issuance of the Amiri decree to dissolve the National Assembly.
He affirmed the Society's keenness in every parliamentary election to invite international teams with the approval of the government, which indicates its understanding of the role of SCOs.
Al-Mutairi continued that the presence of international teams is important to order to monitor and study the effectiveness of the democratic climate and the electoral system in general in Kuwait.
He noted that the general impression of all participating international teams was positive, expressing pride as Kuwait is founded on democracy and freedom of expression.
Al-Mutairi added that the Society issues a report at the end of each election covering all the observations and solutions, submitted to the Government and the parliament's Legislative Committee to then meet with the Legislative and Executive authorities to discuss the observations and come up with a consensus formula to resolve them.
He indicated that Kuwait advanced significantly in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), released by Transparency International, improving by 22 ranks.
Al-Mutairi attributed this to Kuwait's honorable performance in fighting corruption in general, the government's role in involving CSOs in monitoring the electoral process, and its efforts to improve the space of democracy and improve the quality of the electoral law.
On his part, Chairman of the Kuwait Bar Association, Sheryan Al-Sheryan told KUNA that the Association would not spare any effort if asked to monitor the electoral process and express its observations. This task is a "national duty that enhances the principle of transparency in the Kuwait election," as it is a transparent democratic experience organized according to the principles of law, in addition to the right to object during counting process by the candidates' representatives.
He said that the role of the Association is to write reports and make observations and then submit them to the relevant authorities. The Association, he added, did not register any observation in the past regarding whether there was a matter obstructing the electoral process.
He added that through these observations taken by the Association on election day, the candidate will be able to submit his appeal to the Constitutional Court within the specified periods in accordance with what the Constitution guarantees.
He expressed hope that the 2024 National Assembly elections would be fair, transparent and organized as usual in the electoral process in Kuwait, especially since it is in the holy month of Ramadan.
He added that he expects the turnout to be very high as the Kuwaiti people appreciate democracy and participation is a national duty that everyone must perform.
For his part, Kuwait Society of National Integrity (KSNI) Director's Mohammad Al-Otaibi, said that the Society aims through monitoring the electoral process, when invited, to deliver the Kuwaiti experience to the international community, which would add more transparency to the electoral process in Kuwait.
He pointed out that KSNI aims to reflect the positive image of Kuwait's electoral process in a transparent manner to show the international community that CSOs take part in the monitoring process in a sign of integrity and transparency.
As for the role played the KSNI on the field, he noted that since the first day of candidacy registration at the Ministry of Interior's Department of Election Affairs, representatives of the Society were present to observe the process of the candidates' registration until election day, and its observers will be deployed in all polling stations, in addition to monitoring the counting of votes.
He added that after participating in monitoring the electoral process, the Society prepares a comprehensive report and sends it to the Government, including all observations and recommendations that would improve the quality of the electoral process.
Al-Otaibi affirmed that Kuwait democracy is witnessing a development and further modernization, praising the strong democratic balance that is always renewed and developed by all modern means. (end) fas.si