Ghanem files for re-election, welcomes opposition’s return
Court to hear ex-MP Dashti’s nomination case
KUWAIT: Fifty-two candidates including the speaker of the dissolved National Assembly Marzouq Al-Ghanem filed their nomination papers for the snap elections yesterday, raising the number of hopefuls to 251 including eight women. Yesterday’s candidate registration also saw the return of veteran Salafist lawmaker Ahmad Baqer and former opposition MP Riyadh Al-Adasani, who resigned about three years ago from the outgoing Assembly in protest against the rejection of his grilling against the prime minister. It also saw former Islamist MP Humoud Al-Hamdan bid for re-election.
No one from the traditional opposition that had boycotted the previous two polls registered yesterday, a day after several of opposition figures and former MPs filed to contest the polls, ending their long boycott. They included former Islamist MPs Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, Ammar AlAjmi, Mohammad Hayef and several others. Even a number of members from the hardline Popular Action Bloc may return to the fray after a crucial meeting tomorrow.
Ghanem welcomed the return of the opposition and the end of the boycott, saying this proves what he and others have been saying, that participating in the election is a correct move, especially after the constitutional court confirmed that the single-vote system is in line with the constitution. Ghanem said that the decision to dissolve the Assembly and hold early elections was the correct decision and he and other members want to go back to the Kuwaiti voters.
Adasani slammed the so-called achievements of the dissolved Assembly, saying its achievement was very modest, reminding that the Assembly had scrapped his grilling against the prime minister.
In the meantime, the administrative court is due to look today into the case of former MP Abdulhameed Dashti, whose request to file for nomination was rejected because he is not in the country. Dashti has been sentenced to over 30 years in jail for insulting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and has been living outside Kuwait since March. His elder son tried to submit his nomination papers on Saturday, but the election department rejected his request. He filed a case in court, which will start hearing it today.
KUWAIT: Candidate and former parliament speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem speaks after registering for the upcoming parliamentary elections at the Department of Elections in Shuwaikh yesterday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat