Elections 2016Kuwait

Court allows Dashti, Sheikh Malek, others to run in polls

KUWAIT: The Administrative Court yesterday allowed 13 candidates to run in election after it cancelled a decision by election authorities that barred them and 34 other hopefuls from the November 26 election. More decisions are expected next week. The election authorities earlier this week barred 47 candidates including prominent former lawmakers from running in the election for being convicted in court or for failing to complete procedures.

The court had on Wednesday cleared two other candidates and allowed them to run but the government immediately filed objections and later appealed against the rulings. Prominent among those repatriated yesterday was former Shiite MP Abdulhameed Dashti although his lawyer had said his case would be settled on November 9. Dashti, who has been living outside the country since March, is also fighting another battle in the court regarding his registration.

The Appeals Court is scheduled to rule on this case on November 8. Court in Kuwait has handed Dashti jail terms totaling 31 years and six months for insulting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Others given the green light to contest the polls included former MP Safa Al-Hashem and the only member of the ruling family to contest the polls Sheikh Malek Al-Humoud Al-Sabah. Sheikh Malek was barred because he is a member of the ruling family who had always stayed away from polls.

At the time of registration, he said there is nothing legal that prevents members of the ruling family from contesting parliamentary polls. All the court decisions will be heard in the Court of Appeals before the election date. The cases of the rest of the 47 candidates will be settled next week. In the meantime, the election department said that five more candidates have withdrawn from the polls bringing the number of hopefuls left in the fray to just 391.

Those who are considered out of the race include the 47 candidates barred by the election authorities. They will be included in the list only when then get a final court ruling re-instating them. Former MP Adel Al-Khorafi was among the five candidates who withdrew out of the race. He said he pulled out for personal reasons. Khorafi’s action came just a few days after online activists said Khorafi planned to pull out in favor of former Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem as both have registered in the second constituency. The activists, whose claims could not be verified, had said that Khorafi had been promised a ministerial post in the next cabinet if he withdrew from the parliamentary race.

 

By B Izzak

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