Court con­firms royal can run in polls

Pre­vi­ous as­sem­bly fa­cil­i­tated op­pres­sive mea­sures: Har­bash

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL - By B Iz­zak

KUWAIT: The ad­min­is­tra­tive court said Thurs­day that rul­ing fam­ily mem­ber Sheikh Malek Al-Hu­moud Al-Sabah can run in elec­tion af­ter it re­fused a gov­ern­ment ob­jec­tion for a rul­ing in fa­vor of the royal this week.

The elec­tion au­thor­i­ties had barred Sheikh Malek from run­ning in elec­tion be­cause he is a mem­ber of the rul­ing fam­ily be­cause the ex­plana­tory note of the con­sti­tu­tion states that rul­ing fam­ily mem­bers should not con­test par­lia­men­tary elec­tion. But the ad­min­is­tra­tive court in­sisted that the ex­plana­tory note does not ban rul­ing fam­ily mem­bers from con­test­ing the polls and ac­cord­ingly he should be al­lowed to reg­is­ter. The gov­ern­ment has al­ready chal­lenged the rul­ing be­fore the ap­peals court amid opin­ions from sev­eral con­sti­tu­tional ex­perts in­sist­ing that rul­ing fam­ily mem­bers are banned un­der the con­sti­tu­tion from con­test­ing polls. The rul­ing of the ap­peals court will be highly de­ci­sive in the case.

Dashti’s can­di­dacy

The court of cas­sa­tion, whose rul­ings are final, is sched­uled to is­sue next Mon­day its rul­ing on whether for­mer MP Ab­dul­hameed Dashti can reg­is­ter as can­di­date through his son. The ad­min­is­tra­tive court had said the mea­sure was le­gal and al­lowed it but the ap­peals court later over­turned the ver­dict say­ing that can­di­dates must sub­mit their nom­i­na­tion ap­pli­ca­tions in per­son.

Dashti chal­lenged the rul­ing at the court of cas­sa­tion de­mand­ing that he be al­lowed to run in the Novem­ber 26 polls be­cause he was out­side Kuwait for med­i­cal treat­ment and that he can­not re­turn to the coun­try. Dashti’s son had submitted a med­i­cal cer­tifi­cate for his fa­ther while de­mand­ing that he be al­lowed to reg­is­ter for him. Dashti is also fight­ing an­other bat­tle in court af­ter elec­tion au­thor­i­ties have dis­qual­i­fied him from run­ning for be­ing con­victed in court. The for­mer law­maker has been handed jail terms to­tal­ing 31 years and six months for in­sult­ing Saudi Ara­bia and Bahrain. The ad­min­is­tra­tive court said he can run and can­celled the elec­tion au­thor­i­ties’ de­ci­sion. The is­sue is now with the ap­peals court.

Le­gal au­thor­i­ties

Mean­while, a joint com­mit­tee from the in­te­rior min­istry and Kuwait Mu­nic­i­pal­ity for mon­i­tor­ing vi­o­la­tions by can­di­dates, granted its mem­bers the le­gal au­thor­i­ties to take the nec­es­sary ac­tion against the vi­o­la­tions. At the end of a joint meet­ing yes­ter­day, the com­mit­tee said its mem­bers will be given spe­cial IDs to stop and re­move all vi­o­la­tions at elec­tion cam­paign premises or around the polling cen­ters on the elec­tion day. The com­mit­tee has so far is­sued 30 ci­ta­tions.

The in­te­rior min­istry said yes­ter­day that four more can­di­dates pulled out of the elec­tion race yes­ter­day, leav­ing 376 hope­fuls in the fray. This num­ber does not in­clude 47 can­di­dates who were barred by the elec­tion au­thor­i­ties and are still fight­ing their cases in courts.

Op­pres­sive mea­sures

In the mean­time, can­di­dates con­tin­ued hold­ing cam­paigns as the date of the snap elec­tion ap­proaches. For­mer Is­lamist op­po­si­tion MP Ja­maan Al-Har­bash strongly crit­i­cized the out­go­ing pro-gov­ern­ment na­tional as­sem­bly claim­ing that its mem­bers have pro­vided the cover for the gov­ern­ment to take op­pres­sive mea­sures.

Cit­ing the ex­am­ple of the gov­ern­ment’s ac­tion of re­vok­ing the cit­i­zen­ships of sev­eral na­tion­als, Har­bash said the pre­vi­ous as­sem­bly did not take any ac­tion for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the law in this re­spect.

Sheikh Malek Al-Hu­moud Al-Sabah

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