Kuwait elections: ‘Good turnout’ expected as vote counting begins

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Kuwaiti officials said they saw a better-than-expected turnout on election day despite fears that measures in place amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic would hamper voter participation.

“We are expecting a more than 50 percent voter turnout without complaints in most polling stations. We saw a very strong voter participation at the polls earlier this morning which then waned during the afternoon prayers,” Nayef Al-Mutairat, a representative of the Kuwaiti Court of Appeal, told Al Arabiya at one polling station.

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Polling stations across Kuwait witnessed a high level of health measures put in place to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading among voters and officials in the election process.

Five polling stations were also dedicated for those voters who were positive with the COVID-19 coronavirus, ensuring that their diagnosis did not hamper their civic duty.

“There were many fears that this election would see a much lower voter participation compared to previous years given the extraordinary circumstances we are living under but the health measures in place ensured a safe and secure election for sure,” said Marzouq al-Ghanem, Kuwait’s outgoing speaker of the National Assembly who is also standing for re-election.

Kuwaitis are voting to select 50 out of the 326 candidates standing for elections to join the sixteenth legislative term of Kuwait’s National Assembly.

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