Elec­toral process gains steam

Mu­nic­i­pal­ity sets cam­paign­ing terms

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

KUWAIT: Pub­lic Re­la­tions Depart­ment of Kuwait Mu­nic­i­pal­ity has mo­bi­lized its per­son­nel and re­sources for fa­cil­i­tat­ing forth­com­ing par­lia­men­tary elec­tions slated for Novem­ber 26. The depart­ment said in a state­ment yes­ter­day it would pro­vide per­mits to each nom­i­nee to use two build­ings as sites for elec­toral cam­paign­ing; one for men and the other for women. Ac­com­mo­da­tions will in­clude park­ing lots, and the premises should be at least 500 me­ters away from schools.

Can­di­dates are en­ti­tled to ap­ply for us­ing State-owned plots. Oc­cu­py­ing a pri­vate­ly­owned unit war­rants per­mit by the land­lord and in case of his (her) ab­sence, the con­cerned nom­i­nee pledges to evac­u­ate it once the owner shows up and con­test us­ing his prop­erty for elec­toral pur­poses. The cam­paigner is com­pelled to pay KD 500 for us­ing each build­ing. More­over, he (or she) must ob­tain neigh­bors’ ap­proval if he (or she) chooses to use his (her) house as the head­quar­ters for cam­paign­ing and ad­dress­ing would-be vot­ers.

So far, up to 13 can­di­dates have ap­plied for set­ting up cam­paign­ing cen­ters. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity will im­me­di­ately dis­man­tle and re­move any cam­paign­ing sta­tion; launched with­out the prior per­mit from it. Elec­toral process in Kuwait is al­ready gain­ing mo­men­tum, in prepa­ra­tion for the vot­ing day, set on Novem­ber 26th. More than 100 ci­ti­zens have reg­is­tered as can­di­dates vy­ing for a seat in the 50-mem­ber Na­tional Assem­bly (the Par­lia­ment). The reg­is­tra­tion for this year’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tions has largely eclipsed the ones held in 2013 and 2012, records show.

Ac­cord­ing to Law 20/2012, a to­tal of 10 can­di­dates will be listed in each con­stituency. The elec­torate can only vote for one can­di­date per con­stituency. On Wed­nes­day, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and In­te­rior Min­is­ter Sheikh Mo­ham­mad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah or­dered form­ing a spe­cial panel to ex­am­ine nom­i­na­tion pa­pers of the can­di­dates. The com­mis­sion, to be presided by the first pub­lic at­tor­ney, jus­tice Sul­tan Ma­jed Bou­jarwa, will check the can­di­dacy pa­pers to en­sure all the re­quired terms and spec­i­fi­ca­tions for the nom­i­nees are met and avail­able, the Min­istry of In­te­rior (MoI) said in a state­ment. Can­di­dates’ pa­pers’ sub­mis­sion will pro­ceed till Oc­to­ber 28, pend­ing the bal­lot­ing due on Novem­ber 26th. His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has re­cently dis­solved the par­lia­ment cit­ing var­i­ous chal­lenges and re­gional crit­i­cal con­di­tions. At least three Cab­i­net mem­bers de­sir­ing to take part in par­lia­men­tary elec­tions have al­ready re­signed from their ex­ec­u­tive posts.

Law num­ber 35/1962, which deals with par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, per­mits can­di­dates to file their can­di­da­cies to con­test elec­tions. All el­i­gi­ble can­di­dates should be Kuwaiti ci­ti­zens be­low 30 years of age and are re­quired to be flu­ent in writ­ten and spo­ken Ara­bic. They should have no crim­i­nal his­tory, as those found with crim­i­nal records are pro­hib­ited from con­test­ing the elec­tions. Par­lia­men­tary life in Kuwait saw the light in the early 60s, thus putting the State of Kuwait on the world’s democ­racy map.— KUNA

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