Ghanem files for re-elec­tion, wel­comes op­po­si­tion’s re­turn

Court to hear ex-MP Dashti’s nom­i­na­tion case

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By B Iz­zak

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

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