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Assembly office delays decision on vote recount

By B Izzak


KUWAIT: The National Assembly office, headed by outgoing Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem, on Thursday decided to delay a decision on a motion submitted by outgoing MP Obaid Al-Wasmi calling to recount votes cast in the Sept 2022 parliamentary elections over suspected irregularities. Ghanem said after the meeting that the constitutional court called the Assembly secretary and informed him that they have some documents related to the ballot boxes. He said as a result, the office decided to discuss the issue again on Sunday.

Ghanem also said the office decided to invite MPs for a regular session next Tuesday. The speaker also called on the prime minister to take all necessary measures to ensure that the decree that will dissolve the Assembly is in line with the constitution. HH the Amir decided last week to dissolve the 2020 Assembly that was reinstated by the constitutional court. The date of the new elections has not yet been set.

In his motion submitted to the Assembly office on Wednesday, Wasmi reiterated allegations that the Sept 2022 elections had been marred with irregularities and demanded that all votes must be recounted to establish whether the polls had been rigged or not. The entire 2022 election process was annulled by the constitutional court in a ruling on March 19, which said an Amiri decree dissolving the previous Assembly violated the Kuwaiti constitution.

Wasmi called on the Assembly office to invite all those concerned with the issue in addition to foreign ambassadors and local and international media to attend the proposed recounting of votes. During the scrapped polls, the opposition scored a landslide victory and unanimously voted veteran opposition figure Ahmad Al-Saadoun to be the speaker of the house. Wasmi himself won a seat from the fourth constituency.

Wasmi reiterated claims that wide-scale irregularities were committed during the elections and during the counting of votes, alleging that some opposition MPs secured a huge number of votes that is impossible to obtain. He also claimed that during the polls, thousands of ineligible citizens were allowed to cast their votes, including some servicemen who are barred from voting by the election law, and some naturalized citizens who have not yet completed the required 20-year period of their citizenship to be able to vote.

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