Court al­lows two can­di­dates to run

Ghanem has best chance for speak­er­ship: Ashour

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By B Iz­zak

The ad­min­is­tra­tive court yes­ter­day ruled to al­low two can­di­dates barred by the elec­tion au­thor­i­ties to run in the elec­tion after study­ing their ur­gent pe­ti­tions. But the gov­ern­ment im­me­di­ately filed an ob­jec­tion against the rul­ing and will chal­lenge the ver­dict at the appeals court. Those al­lowed are for­mer op­po­si­tion Is­lamist MP Bader Al-Da­houm and new can­di­date Mane Al-Ajmi, who were among 47 can­di­dates barred by the elec­tion au­thor­i­ties on Tues­day.

A ma­jor­ity of those barred have filed pe­ti­tions at the court. The au­thor­i­ties barred 31 for re­ceiv­ing ver­dicts against them while the re­main­ing 16 were banned for not com­plet­ing pro­ce­dures of their ap­pli­ca­tions. The gov­ern­ment ob­jec­tion will only tem­po­rar­ily pre­vent the two can­di­dates from run­ning un­til the appeals court set­tles the is­sue.

The ad­min­is­tra­tive court will to­day is­sue its ver­dict in the case of for­mer MP Safa Al-Hashem who was barred for re­ceiv­ing a ver­dict against her on a slan­der case. Hashem filed a pe­ti­tion yes­ter­day. For­mer con­tro­ver­sial MP Ab­dul­hameed Dashti also filed a sim­i­lar pe­ti­tion through his lawyer as he has been out­side Kuwait since March. Dashti was handed jail terms to­tal­ing over 31 years for in­sult­ing Saudi Ara­bia and Bahrain.

Dashti said on his Twit­ter ac­count that the court will rule on his case on Nov 9. Dashti is also fight­ing an­other court case re­gard­ing his reg­is­tra­tion as a can­di­date, which was car­ried out by his el­der son Talal at the or­ders of the court. The gov­ern­ment ap­pealed the or­der and the appeals court is due to is­sue its rul­ing on Nov 8.

In a re­lated de­vel­op­ment, for­mer MP Saleh Ashour said yes­ter­day that the Na­tional Assem­bly was dis­solved mainly in or­der to re­duce the chances of the op­po­si­tion from win­ning seats in the elec­tion. He also harshly crit­i­cized the op­po­si­tion groups and in­di­vid­u­als

for con­test­ing the elec­tion after a fouryear boy­cott, al­though prom­i­nent op­po­si­tion leader Musal­lam Al-Bar­rak and sev­eral op­po­si­tion ac­tivists are still in jail.

Ashour said that the op­po­si­tion, which is con­test­ing the elec­tion, should is­sue an apol­ogy from Bar­rak and oth­ers. He said dis­solv­ing the Assem­bly also serves its mem­bers and boosts their chances of win­ning the elec­tion. The for­mer law­maker said that three to four can­di­dates are ex­pected to con­test the post of the next Assem­bly speaker and that the chances of out­go­ing speaker Mar­zouq Al-Ghanem are the best, un­less the gov­ern­ment changes its mind and doesn’t sup­port him.

Mean­while, for­mer ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter and ex-MP Ah­mad Al-Mu­laifi strongly crit­i­cized Ashour, ac­cus­ing him of rais­ing sec­tar­ian is­sues, adding that Shi­ites, Sun­nis, bedouins and ur­ban­ites are all in­te­gral parts of the Kuwaiti so­ci­ety. Mu­laifi and Ashour are con­test­ing the elec­tion from the first con­stituency.

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