In spite of the long and leading march of democracy of Kuwait, the parliamentary election law does not give citizens abroad the opportunity to vote as is the case in most democratic countries. It has been the practice in democratic countries where citizens living abroad are allowed to vote in the elections, even if they are resident outside the country, making it easier for the voters to exercise their right and increase the rate of participation in the electoral process.
Participation of Kuwaitis living or studying abroad is of a great significance especially with the rise in their numbers in recent years, which is difficult for many of them to return to the country on time for the parliamentary elections.
In response to a question on the possibility of opening the door for Kuwaitis abroad to vote like in many countries, assistant Director General of the Department of Elections in the Interior Ministry Colonel Salah Al-Shatti said the elections law No. 35/1962 did not entail any clause allowing citizens residing abroad to vote from their places of residence.
Shatti added that enabling citizens to vote while they are outside the country requires a legislative amendment to the election law, indicating that the onus is on members of the National Council to make the necessary amendments, pointing out that it is not the prerogative of the Ministry of Interior to discuss or make any amendment on this matter.
Article IV of the election law states that a voter shall exercise his or her electoral rights himself in the constituency in his country and the home of the election is the place where a person lives in permanently.