DASHTI OUT OF ELEC­TION RACE AF­TER FI­NAL COURT RUL­ING

Op­po­si­tion can­di­dates blast dis­solved As­sem­bly

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By B Iz­zak

The court of cas­sa­tion yes­ter­day ruled for­mer MP Ab­dul­hameed Dashti can­not run in the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions on Nov 26 for fil­ing his reg­is­tra­tion pa­pers while he was out­side the coun­try. Dashti has been liv­ing in Bri­tain since March, and asked his el­der son to file his nom­i­na­tion pa­pers. The elec­tion author­i­ties re­jected them, but the lower court or­dered them to ac­cept his reg­is­tra­tion af­ter he pro­duced a med­i­cal cer­tifi­cate say­ing he is un­der­go­ing treat­ment and can­not travel.

Last week, the ap­peals court over­turned that rul­ing and said can­di­dates must sub­mit their reg­is­tra­tion pa­pers in per­son. The cas­sa­tion court yes­ter­day up­held the rul­ing. Dashti ac­knowl­edged the rul­ing and said this was not the end of the road. Kuwaiti courts have sen­tenced Dashti to 31 years and six months in jail for in­sult­ing Saudi Ara­bia and Bahrain in state­ments he made and in com­ments he wrote on Twit­ter.

The gov­ern­ment mean­while chal­lenged ap­peals court rul­ings that al­lowed a num­ber of can­di­dates, in­clud­ing for­mer MP Safa Al-Hashem, to run in the polls. Hashem was among 47 can­di­dates barred by the elec­tion author­i­ties for not ful­fill­ing reg­is­tra­tion con­di­tions or for be­ing pre­vi­ously con­victed in court. The courts have al­ready re­in­stated sev­eral can­di­dates, and are still look­ing into the cases of oth­ers.

Sep­a­rately, for­mer op­po­si­tion MPs who are run­ning in the elec­tion strongly lashed out at mem­bers of the dis­solved As­sem­bly, blam­ing them for fail­ing to de­fend the rights of the Kuwaiti peo­ple. Speak­ing at an elec­tion gath­er­ing, for­mer Is­lamist MP Bader Al-Da­houm urged vot­ers not to vote for any of those mem­bers, say­ing that they had ap­proved a large num­ber of very dan­ger­ous and an­ti­so­cial laws.

Da­houm, who was speak­ing at the elec­tion head­quar­ters of for­mer Is­lamist op­po­si­tion MP Osama Al-Mu­nawer, urged those who win in the elec­tions not to vote for Mar­zouq Al-Ghanem as the next speaker, adding that he will not vote for him if elected.

For­mer Is­lamist MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei also urged vot­ers to vote for good can­di­dates who will serve the in­ter­ests of the peo­ple. He said a law passed by the pre­vi­ous As­sem­bly to bar those con­victed over re­li­gious of­fences and in­sult­ing HH the Amir from pub­lic of­fice was es­pe­cially de­signed to pre­vent for­mer op­po­si­tion MP Musal­lam Al-Bar­rak, cur­rently in jail, from con­test­ing the polls. Tabtabaei also strongly con­demned some mem­bers of the pre­vi­ous house on their po­si­tion on the trial of 25 Kuwaitis and an Ira­nian for spy­ing for Iran and Hezbol­lah.

Can­di­date Saud Busaleeb charged that the gov­ern­ment’s eco­nomic re­form plan is a cover to end sub­si­dies on com­modi­ties and ser­vices and this will re­sult in in­creas­ing the fi­nan­cial bur­den on cit­i­zens. For­mer MP Ad­nan Ab­dul­samad de­fended the dis­solved As­sem­bly, say­ing that it made some great achieve­ments and peo­ple op­posed to it are es­sen­tially against the sin­gle-vote elec­tion sys­tem. Ab­dul­samad said that peo­ple are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly frus­trated from the elec­tion process be­cause of re­peated polls, as this will be the sev­enth gen­eral elec­tions in a decade.

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