Po­lice raid two places hold­ing tribal pri­maries

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By B Iz­zak

The in­te­rior min­istry said yes­ter­day po­lice raided two places in Ah­madi in the fifth con­stituency where some peo­ple were sus­pected of hold­ing tribal pri­maries un­der the guises of “con­sul­ta­tions”. Tribal pri­maries are banned un­der the law and carry a jail term of five years for vi­o­la­tors. The min­istry said it ar­rested a num­ber of peo­ple and re­ferred them to the pub­lic pros­e­cu­tion, with­out giv­ing their num­bers.

Mean­while, the ap­peals court yes­ter­day up­held the elec­tion au­thor­i­ties’ de­ci­sion of bar­ring for­mer Shi­ite MP Ab­dul­hameed Dashti and can­di­date Mo­ham­mad AlH­u­faiti from run­ning in the elec­tion. The ad­min­is­tra­tive court last week re­jected the govern­ment’s de­ci­sion and al­lowed the two can­di­dates to re­main in the race. The case will now go to the court of cas­sa­tion.

Dashti and Hu­faiti were among 47 can­di­dates barred by the elec­tion au­thor­i­ties from run­ning in the elec­tion for ei­ther hav­ing been pre­vi­ously con­victed in court or for fail­ing to com­plete proper pro­ce­dures of reg­is­tra­tion. In an­other case re­gard­ing Dashti’s reg­is­tra­tion, the ap­peals court on Tues­day de­clared that he can­not file his nom­i­na­tion pa­pers through his son or any­one else and he has to per­son­ally sub­mit them.

Dashti has been liv­ing out­side Kuwait for the past sev­eral months, claim­ing he is re­ceiv­ing med­i­cal treat­ment. Kuwaiti courts have sen­tenced him to 31 years and six months in jail for in­sult­ing Saudi Ara­bia and Bahrain. The rul­ings mean that Dashti’s chances of run­ning for re­elec­tion have be­come ex­tremely dif­fi­cult, if not im­pos­si­ble.

The ad­min­is­tra­tive court also sup­ported the elec­tion au­thor­i­ties’ de­ci­sion to bar three can­di­dates - for­mer MP Mo­ham­mad Al-Juwai­hel, lawyer Hani Hussein and proop­po­si­tion ac­tivist Mah­moud Shaker - for be­ing pre­vi­ously con­victed by the court.

The three can­di­dates have the right to chal­lenge the rul­ing at the court of ap­peals. The court how­ever re­in­stated for­mer op­po­si­tion Is­lamist MP Bader Al-Da­houm af­ter de­lay­ing his ver­dict, in ad­di­tion to can­di­dates Iyad Al-Ha­sawi and Mo­ham­mad AlHad­dad. The govern­ment is ex­pected to chal­lenge the three ver­dicts. For­mer MP Ah­mad Al-Qud­haibi said yes­ter­day that he to­tally sup­ports the re­form ini­tia­tive launched by a group of lead­ing per­son­al­i­ties a few days ago, which called for re­form­ing the vot­ing sys­tem in the coun­try and pre­vent­ing rul­ing fam­ily mem­bers from in­ter­fer­ing in the elec­tion, among other things. Qud­haibi said the in­ter­fer­ence of rul­ing fam­ily mem­bers in the elec­tion has greatly dam­aged the process through the elec­tion of law­mak­ers who rep­re­sent those rul­ing fam­ily mem­bers. He said the cur­rent sin­gle-vote sys­tem has led to the elec­tion of a het­ero­ge­neous Assem­bly due to the ab­sence of blocs or groups.

For­mer op­po­si­tion MP and can­di­date Hussein Al-Mu­tairi vowed that the govern­ment will not be able to re­voke cit­i­zen­ship of op­po­nents like it did in the past if he and other op­po­si­tion mem­bers are elected. He also said that MPs will not al­low the govern­ment to im­pose taxes be­fore the fi­nance min­istry stops of squan­der­ing of pub­lic funds and for­eign aid. He in­sisted that these mea­sures will not be al­lowed to go through with­out ques­tion­ing. Elec­tion cam­paigns in the mean­time have in­ten­si­fied in the past few days as the Nov 26 elec­tion date ap­proaches. A large num­ber of can­di­dates launched their cam­paigns by hold­ing ral­lies, while oth­ers have an­nounced dates for their ral­lies. Eco­nomic re­forms and the in­crease in fuel prices and other com­modi­ties topped the is­sues at the cam­paigns and a large num­ber of can­di­dates vowed they will not al­low the govern­ment to in­crease prices if they reach the Assem­bly.

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