I wasn’t particularly overjoyed with the election results, although I did relish the fact that HADAS (Islamic Constitutional Movement) lost 3 seats, some interesting progressive individuals such as Saleh Al-Mulla and Mohamed Abdeljader won seats, alongside the old favorites Ali Al-Rashid, Adil Al-Sarawi, Abdullah Al-Roumi, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, Mohamed Al-Sager, among others.
Aseel Al-Awadhi came very close to knocking Nasser Al-Sane off the #10th position in the 3rd District, it was a great showing on her part; she single-handedly carried her party’s torch almost to the finish line, while her partners (who were expected to ‘carry’ her) Khalid Al-Khalid and Faisal Al-Shaye bit the dust, way behind her. I cannot help but think the ‘National Democratic Alliance’ miscalculated its candidate choices and distribution of said candidates; certainly Abdulmohsin Al-Medaj, who lost in the 1st District seemed isolated and in need of more support from his party. Abdulrahman Al-Anjari, a popular, smart ‘Alliance’ candidate would have served the party more efficiently in either the 1st or 3rd District instead of the bloodbath at the 2nd District, where he was in direct competition with other liberals (i.e. Ahmed Diyan), members of his own party (such as Mohamed Abdeljader), and moderates (Haitham Al-Shaye, for example)
Old warhorse veterans Ahmed Al-Sadoun, Musallam Al-Barrak, Ahmed Al-Mulaifi, among others are back, and more political sparks are bound to fly.
Additionally, the fight for the Speaker’s chair will be formidable, with potential challengers Ahmed Al-Sadoun, Nasser Al-Duwaila, Khalid Bin Sultan Al-Essa, and maybe Hussein Al-Huraiti vying for the position. Either way, former Speaker Jassim Al-Khorafi won’t hold on to his position as effortlessly as last time.
The government is in a much more vulnerable position than it was prior to the National Aseembly being dissolved (there are loose ends hanging about…they won’t just disappear into thin air). If the government doesn’t deliver the Five Year Development program (i.e. hospitals, infrastructure, water and electricity) demanded by all faces of the political spectrum: Islamists, Liberals, Tribal, Shiite – and, frankly I doubt they will – a political powder keg will ignite.
In other words, I expect the life expectancy of this new Parliament to be one year (I’ll see you at the polls again next Spring).