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Nazaha proposes measures to improve electoral practices

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) called in a statement on Monday for a number of measures and procedures to improve election campaign practices. Nazaha called for regulating the funding of election campaigns through appointing an agency to oversee election spending. It also called for imposing a ceiling for spending during the campaigns and introducing mechanisms to supervise funding, spending and donations to election campaigns.

It also called for creating a charter for parliamentary practices by introducing rules that regulate the performance of lawmakers and make such rules an integral part of the National Assembly’s internal charter. This will help promote the values and ethics of integrity and transparency, it said. Nazaha also called for amending the election law to allow the establishment of a body with sufficient powers to supervise the election.

The new agency will be responsible for preparing and updating the electoral rolls and registration of candidates, working out a plan to regulate the election and forming election committees. The agency will also receive and handle complaints by candidates and voters and set the necessary measures to allow Kuwaitis abroad to vote, Nazaha said. Election campaigns have gained momentum with just two days left for the polls.

Meanwhile, the constitutional court said on Monday it will start looking into petitions on Tuesday calling to suspend the Sept 29 elections, as it debates whether two emergency decrees related to the polls are in line with the constitution. The petition was submitted on Sunday by lawyer and candidate Adel Al-Yahya, who challenged that the two Amiri decrees did not meet conditions to be issued as emergency legislation.

Although the chances of the court suspending the elections are weak, nothing can be ruled out. The court can however continue to debate the two decrees without suspending the elections and can issue its ruling after the polls. If the court however decides to suspend the elections, the dissolved National Assembly will regain all its powers in accordance with the Kuwaiti constitution.

The information ministry declared that election silence will be observed on Wednesday and Thursday, the day of the polls. The ministry said during this period, it is totally banned for the media to publish or replay any interviews, programs or reports of candidates contesting the 50-seat parliament. It also banned the publication of the results of opinion polls by agencies authorized by the ministry.

 

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