Op­po­si­tion dis­unity ex­posed af­ter...

Kuwait Times - - NEWS -

How­ever, Har­bash later told the house that the con­sti­tu­tional court ruled in 1996 that a blank bal­lot should be counted as ab­sent, which means that Har­bash should have been de­clared the win­ner in the first round of vot­ing, as his 32 votes would have been an ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity.

How­ever, the speaker and sev­eral MPs said that af­ter that rul­ing, the law was changed in which the blank bal­lot was con­sid­ered part of those present. Con­sti­tu­tional ex­perts are di­vided on the is­sue, with some sup­port­ing Har­bash’s view and other ex­perts back­ing the op­pos­ing view.

Op­po­si­tion MP Ab­dulka­rim Al-Kan­dari said yes­ter­day that he will de­mand form­ing a tem­po­rary panel to re­view leg­is­la­tions passed by the pre­vi­ous Assem­bly that are re­jected by a ma­jor­ity of op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers. Kan­dari said that he will sub­mit a pro­posal to amend a num­ber of free­dom-curb­ing laws passed by the pre­vi­ous Assem­bly, in­clud­ing an amend­ment to re­duce the pre­ven­tive de­ten­tion pe­riod to just 48 hours in­stead of four days. The pre­vi­ous Assem­bly in­creased the de­ten­tion pe­riod to four days at the re­quest of the in­te­rior min­istry, af­ter the 2012 Assem­bly had re­duced the pe­riod.

Kan­dari also said he will pro­pose that the DNA test law be com­pletely abol­ished and that the new ju­ve­nile law to re­duce a mi­nor’s age to 16 should not be im­ple­mented early next year. The law­maker re­called that the pre­vi­ous Assem­bly “was in the hands of the gov­ern­ment, and now this Assem­bly is in the hands of the peo­ple”, and warned that op­po­si­tion MPs will deal with the gov­ern­ment in the same way it deals with the Assem­bly. Op­po­si­tion MP Mubarak Al-Ha­jraf yes­ter­day praised a de­ci­sion by the new In­te­rior Min­is­ter Sheikh Khaled Al-Jar­rah Al-Sabah that the names and im­ages of de­fen­dants will not be pub­lished un­til the court con­victs them. He said the de­ci­sion is con­trary to wrong prac­tices in­tro­duced by pre­vi­ous min­is­ter Sheikh Mo­ham­mad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, who was moved to the de­fense min­istry, ap­par­ently to avoid crit­i­cism by the op­po­si­tion.

Sep­a­rately, well-known con­sti­tu­tional ex­pert Mo­ham­mad Al-Mo­qate ex­pected yes­ter­day that the new Assem­bly will likely be dis­solved by the con­sti­tu­tional court for breaches of the law. He did not ex­plain the rea­son in de­tail, but said there are four ma­jor issues that could lead to the dis­so­lu­tion of the Assem­bly.

Mo­qate said he has re­viewed the 52 pe­ti­tions against the re­sults of the elec­tions filed at the con­sti­tu­tional court, adding that he be­lieves the life­span of the Assem­bly will be short. One of the pe­ti­tions was filed by for­mer justice min­is­ter Yaqoub Al-Sane, who failed in the elec­tion, claim­ing that the de­cree to set the elec­tion date was not in line with the con­sti­tu­tion.

For­mer Is­lamist MP Bader Al-Da­houm, who was barred from con­test­ing the polls be­cause he was con­victed by a court, chal­lenged that the rea­son for bar­ring him was not in line with the con­sti­tu­tion. Oth­ers also chal­lenged that the for­ma­tion of the elec­tion com­mit­tee by the in­te­rior min­is­ter was un­con­sti­tu­tional. Many oth­ers chal­lenged the elec­tion re­sults, claim­ing there were many count­ing er­rors. The con­sti­tu­tional court is likely to rule on the pe­ti­tions in Jan­uary.

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