Al Hashem sole woman victor in Kuwait polls

This is the third time the veteran politician wins a seat in the parliament

  • Kuwaiti candidate and former MP Safa Al Hashem, the only woman elected, celebrates with her supporters in KuwaImage Credit: AFP
  • Kuwaiti Islamist candidate and opposition leader Waleed Al Tabtabai (centre) celebrates withhis supporters fImage Credit: AFP
  • Former parliament speaker Marzouq Al Ganem is elated after his victory in the polls in Kuwait city yesterday.Image Credit: AFP
Gulf News

Manama: Safa Abdul Rahman Al Hashem who was reinstated only a few hours before Kuwait’s parliamentary elections were held was the only woman to win a seat on Saturday.

She came fifth in the third electoral district with 3,273 votes, well ahead of Islamist former lawmaker Waleed Al Tabtabai who was seventh on the list of the ten winners with 2,504 votes.

The highest score in the district was 3,730 by Abdul Wahab Al Babteen while the lowest was 2,124 by Ahmad Nabeel Al Fadhl, the son of a lawmaker who died on his seat during a parliamentary session in December last year.

By winning her seat, Al Hashem became the ninth woman to be elected to the parliament since women obtained the right to vote and run in national elections in 2005.

In three of the last six elections in which they took part, women failed to win any seat – in 2006, 2008 and February 2012.

They won four seats in 2009, three in December 2012 and one in July 2013.

Al Hashem is a former lawmaker who on Saturday made history by becoming the first woman to win in three parliamentary elections, December 2012, July 2013 and November 2016.

In July 2013, the liberal lawmaker made history by becoming the first woman in Kuwait to win in two consecutive parliamentary elections.

Former MP Maasouma Al Mubarak who made history in 2009 as one of the four women who were the first to be elected to the parliament had to wait until December 2012 to repeat her feat.

Al Hashem resigned from parliament in May 2014, saying the situation in the country had reached a “deadlock”.

Born in 1964, Al Hashem holds degrees in English literature and in business administration. She was the founder, chairperson and manager of Advantage Consulting Company (ACC), a Kuwait-based company that provides management and business advisory services, her official biography said. She received the Female CEO of the Year award at the CEO Middle East Awards 2007 in Dubai.

Very active socially, she has more than 328,000 followers on her Twitter account.

“I thank God first and foremost. My thanks to you dear Kuwaitis are as immense as the sky,” she tweeted when she learned that she won in the elections.

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