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Assembly panels finalizing election commission law

Legislation aims to guarantee free, fair and fully transparent polls

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: The National Assembly’s legal and legislative committee on Wednesday discussed in a meeting a draft law calling to establish an independent higher election commission to oversee parliamentary polls. Rapporteur of the panel MP Hisham Al-Saleh, a member of the court-reinstated Assembly, said the committee will vote on the draft law in a meeting on Sunday.

He said the draft legislation states that the commission board will comprise of seven representatives from each of the judicial, legislative and executive authorities, in addition to representatives from civil societies. The bill places controls on election campaigns and limits spending on such campaigns. It also has a set of controls to ensure free and fair elections.

The legal committee only ensures that the draft law is in line with the constitution and existing laws. The bill will be given final approval by the interior and defense committee. A number of MPs from the reinstated 2020 Assembly have alleged that the Sept 2022 elections witnessed wide-ranging rigging and MP Obaid Al-Wasmi has called for an investigation.

Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem last week called for fresh and fair elections as a way out of the ongoing political crisis in the country. But he insisted that any elections must be held only after establishing a high election commission to oversee the polls.

Head of the Assembly’s interior and defense committee MP Saadoun Hammad on Wednesday called on the legal committee to refer the election commission draft law to his committee to study it. Hammad said that the committee wants to ensure that the legislation will guarantee free, fair and fully transparent elections. He said the law will ensure that candidates will have representatives at election centers and during the counting of votes, and that they will have complete access to monitor the election process.

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