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Candidates throw hat in ring

Scores announce they are running in crucial snap polls

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: A large number of former MPs said on Tuesday they have decided to run in the upcoming elections which will be held after HH the Amir dissolved the National Assembly for the second time in nine months. Speaker of the dissolved Assembly Marzouq Al-Ghanem was the first to announce that he will be contesting for an Assembly seat from the second constituency, from where he had won an Assembly seat for more than 15 years. Ghanem did not run in the 2022 elections that were annulled by the constitutional court.

Former MPs who declared their candidacy include Fares Al-Otaibi, Abdulkarim Al-Kandari, Muhannad Al-Sayer, Muhalhal Al-Mudhaf and Hamad Al-Obaid, who said they will contest for a seat from the third constituency. Former lawmakers Obaid Al-Wasmi, Saud Al-Mutairi and Thamer Al-Suwait said they will run in the fourth constituency, while Khaled Al-Otaibi announced his candidacy from the fifth district. Ex-MP Abdullah Al-Mudhaf is contesting in the first constituency.

Many more are expecting to announce they are running in the coming few days, especially after the interior ministry sets the exact date of the elections and opens registration of candidates. HH the Amir on Monday issued a decree dissolving the 2020 National Assembly, which was reinstated by the constitutional court in a ruling issued on March 19.

The decree said the Assembly was dissolved based on the articles of the constitution, in respect of the will of the people and to safeguard the higher interests of the country and its stability amid international and regional economic changes. It said as a result of these reasons, it became necessary to go back to the people to choose their representatives.

This will be Kuwait’s third parliamentary polls in less than 30 months and the 10th elections since 2006 amid continued political crises between the governments and MPs. It will be the second election in less than nine months. This is also the second time that the National Assembly elected in Dec 2020 was dissolved by HH the Amir. It was dissolved for the first time in August last year because of political disputes between the government and the Assembly. As a result, snap polls were held in September, when the opposition scored a massive victory. But the 2020 assembly was reinstated eight months later by the constitutional court, which annulled the September elections and scrapped the 2022 Assembly.

Local media expected a hard-fought and decisive election that could set the future of the country. In a front-page editorial, Editor-in-Chief of Arabic daily Al-Rai Jassem Boodai said the forthcoming polls could be the most dangerous in the country’s history. “It is not an exaggeration to say that the upcoming elections are very important, and could even be the most dangerous in the history of Kuwaiti elections, because they are a dividing line between the consecration of state institutions and the continuation of chaos,” Boodai wrote.

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