Kuwait NGOs to watchdog next parliamentary vote

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have always been playing a significant role in serving the society, addressing its problems and monitoring political events and public activities, including election observation. The Kuwaiti cabinet has recently asked several NGOs to partake in watching the country’s forthcoming parliamentary elections due on June 6 out of its commitment to ensuring fair and transparent elections.

Adnan Al-Rashed

Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA) Chairman Adnan Al-Rashed said the decision of the Council of Ministers to ask the association to monitor the elections is an appreciated move in favor of the Kuwaiti society and local journalism in particular. In a statement to KUNA, he said the association has been one of the most effective tools in monitoring the parliamentary elections since the mid-1960s.

The cabinet’s praiseworthy move reflects the state’s confidence in Kuwaiti national organizations and their role. The role of the KJA, he said, is to submit reports of any observations it makes regarding the electoral process to the concerned authorities. He added that the KJA, throughout its previous participation in monitoring parliamentary elections, has always found all concerned government entities, be it the ministries or the judicial authorities, to be cooperative.

Mohammad Al-Otaibi

Rashed also spoke highly of the government’s decision to increase the number of NGOs participating in the observation of the National Assembly (parliament) as clear evidence of the significant national role of civil society organizations. Chairman of Kuwait’s National Nazaha Society Mohammad Al-Otaibi told KUNA that NGOs’ involvement in watching the forthcoming vote is of paramount significance at both local and international levels. This unquestionably shows further transparency and fairness and highlights Kuwait as a “state of institutions and law”, he said, adding that the decision is mainly aimed at keeping a close eye on potential electoral flaws.

He called on all eligible voters to head to the polling stations next week, given that the international community will be following the democratic race. Also speaking to KUNA, Chairman of Kuwait Transparency Society Majid Al-Mutairi said the ultimate goal of NGOs’ election observation is not only to ensure clean and fair elections, but also to assess the democratic situation and improve Kuwait’s ranking in relevant international indicators. He added that his agency would conduct various reports about all the stages of the electoral process, including ballot centers, candidates’ discourse and electoral atmospheres in general.

Chairman of the Kuwaiti Parliament Performance Follow-up Society Nasser Al-Shelemi said his body’s role in observing the next vote due on June 6 reflects the government’s belief in the significance and role of national civil society organizations. The cabinet’s recent decision would definitely lead to the actual application of the principles of genuine partnership, and integrity and transparency criteria to the democratic process. Minister of Social Affairs and Women and Children’s Affairs Mai Al-Baghli said on Monday that the cabinet had decided to allow national NGOS to watchdog the forthcoming electoral race. – KUNA

The post Kuwait NGOs to watchdog next parliamentary vote appeared first on Kuwait Times.

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