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Top court rules controversial law is constitutional

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: The constitutional court ruled on Sunday that a highly controversial law that bars people from running in elections over political convictions is in line with the country’s constitution. In its explanation, the court said legislators are permitted to lay down conditions for people planning to run for public office, and accordingly, they can issue legislation that regulate the process of registration for contesting the polls.

It added that it is inappropriate to allow people to vote and run in polls after they had been convicted by court of insulting the Almighty, prophets and HH the Amir. The petition against the law was filed by four candidates who were barred from contesting the elections because they were convicted of making remarks deemed offensive to HH the Amir. The ruling means that all people convicted of crimes of insulting HH the Amir will be barred for life from voting or contesting the polls. As a result, the four candidates who challenged the law will be disqualified from running in the elections.

The court of cassation upheld on Sunday the barring of two more candidates from running in the polls. Last week, the court also barred three other candidates from the polls because they had been convicted in criminal cases. This will cut the number of candidates who will fight for the 50 seats to 304 hopefuls.

Meanwhile, the public prosecution on Sunday issued a warrant to arrest a candidate in the third constituency on allegations of buying votes. The prosecution detained four women working for the candidate. This is the second case of vote-buying busted by the police. It is being handled by the public prosecution.

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