Govt eyes overseas voting, poll body; 6 hopefuls barred

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: The government has sent to the National Assembly major amendments to the election law including an amendment calling for the establishment of a National Election Commission to supervise the entire election process. The amendments also stipulate to allow Kuwaitis living abroad to vote in parliamentary elections for the first time, and increase candidate registration fees from KD 50 to KD 500. The Municipality said yesterday that it will impose fines between KD 1,000 and KD 3,000 on candidates violating advertising regulations.

Meanwhile, the appeals court yesterday confirmed the disqualification of six candidates from contesting next month’s general polls but upheld a ruling to cancel the barring of three other candidates. The court also overturned a ruling by the lower court to disqualify candidate Ladia Al-Othman and allowed her to run in the election.

The court however set tomorrow’s date to issue its verdict on five other candidates whose disqualification by the interior ministry commission was confirmed by the lower court. These candidates include former MP Bader Al-Dahoum, Salah Al-Hashem and Hani Hussein. The interior ministry commission had disqualified 34 candidates and barred them from contesting the election for receiving final court verdicts on financial and political offences. A number of them challenged the decision before the court.

The government also settled a controversy over whether voters infected with coronavirus should be allowed to vote or not, saying such patients have the right to vote but under strict health measures. The government said that the legal and fatwa department, the government’s legal body, pointed out that exercising the right to vote is the constitutional right of eligible voters, so preventive measures should be taken to allow coronavirus patients to cast their ballots.

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