Electoral process gains steam
Municipality sets campaigning terms
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