Police raid two places holding tribal primaries
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.