Elections 2016Kuwait

Court allows two candidates to run

Ghanem has best chance for speakership: Ashour

KUWAIT: The administrative court yesterday ruled to allow two candidates barred by the election authorities to run in the election after studying their urgent petitions. But the government immediately filed an objection against the ruling and will challenge the verdict at the appeals court. Those allowed are former opposition Islamist MP Bader Al-Dahoum and new candidate Mane Al-Ajmi, who were among 47 candidates barred by the election authorities on Tuesday.

A majority of those barred have filed petitions at the court. The authorities barred 31 for receiving verdicts against them while the remaining 16 were banned for not completing procedures of their applications. The government objection will only temporarily prevent the two candidates from running until the appeals court settles the issue.

The administrative court will today issue its verdict in the case of former MP Safa Al-Hashem who was barred for receiving a verdict against her on a slander case. Hashem filed a petition yesterday. Former controversial MP Abdulhameed Dashti also filed a similar petition through his lawyer as he has been outside Kuwait since March. Dashti was handed jail terms totaling over 31 years for insulting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Dashti said on his Twitter account that the court will rule on his case on Nov 9. Dashti is also fighting another court case regarding his registration as a candidate, which was carried out by his elder son Talal at the orders of the court. The government appealed the order and the appeals court is due to issue its ruling on Nov 8.

In a related development, former MP Saleh Ashour said yesterday that the National Assembly was dissolved mainly in order to reduce the chances of the opposition from winning seats in the election. He also harshly criticized the opposition groups and individuals for contesting the election after a four-year boycott, although prominent opposition leader Musallam Al-Barrak and several opposition activists are still in jail.

Ashour said that the opposition, which is contesting the election, should issue an apology from Barrak and others. He said dissolving the Assembly also serves its members and boosts their chances of winning the election. The former lawmaker said that three to four candidates are expected to contest the post of the next Assembly speaker and that the chances of outgoing speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem are the best, unless the government changes its mind and doesn’t support him.

Meanwhile, former education minister and ex-MP Ahmad Al-Mulaifi strongly criticized Ashour, accusing him of raising sectarian issues, adding that Shiites, Sunnis, bedouins and urbanites are all integral parts of the Kuwaiti society. Mulaifi and Ashour are contesting the election from the first constituency.

By B Izzak

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