By B Izzak
KUWAIT: The constitutional court on Wednesday rejected a petition challenging its ruling on March 19 that annulled the 2022 elections, scrapping the 2022 National Assembly and reviving the 2020 house. The challenge was filed by six members of the scrapped Assembly, who argued the constitutional court ruling violated the constitution and the law and illegally interfered in the powers entrusted to HH to the Amir.
The court’s rejection means that the 2022 Assembly is scrapped forever and that the June 6 general elections will proceed without any delay. The appeal filed by the six former members claimed that the constitutional court exceeded its powers outlined in the constitution and even interfered with the powers of HH the Amir.
In its new ruling on Wednesday, the court reiterated that its original verdict was in line with the law and the constitution and that it had not surpassed its powers or went beyond its constitutional authority, insisting the ruling was correct. Normally, rulings issued by the constitutional court are final and cannot be challenged, but the court sometimes accepts some challenges disputing that the law was violated.
The government had already accepted and implemented the March 19 ruling even after the former chief justice and head of the constitutional court Mohammad Bin Naji, who issued the March 19 ruling, retired one year ahead of time. After reinstating the 2020 Assembly, which was dissolved in August 2022, the government then approved a new decree by HH the Amir to dissolve the reinstated house and called for fresh polls.
Meanwhile, candidates campaigning for the 2023 elections raised several issues during election speeches and statements and focused on calling on the government to take the necessary measures to improve the standard of living of Kuwaiti citizens and raise their pay. Former MP Muhannad Al-Sayer said 70-80 percent of Kuwaitis, or 94,000 families – almost half the population of native Kuwaitis – live in rental apartments in one of the richest countries of the world.
Candidate Jenan Bushehri, a former minister, said monopoly over state land is killing the hopes and ambitions of young Kuwaitis in establishing their own projects. Former MP Saadoun Hammad said Kuwaitis are frustrated because their salaries have not been increased since 2008, blaming the 2022 Assembly for failing to defend the rights of citizens. He said that this led some Kuwaiti voters to abandon the election because they were disappointed with the previous Assembly.
Candidate Mubarak Al-Tasha said Kuwait is passing through a crucial and delicate period in its history, as some people are trying to distort and change the political scene to take the country back to the corruption era. Candidate Falah Al-Subaei said repeated political disputes in the Assembly made it forget the demands and rights of the people, who are suffering from deteriorating public services. He said only change in the Assembly members and fresh blood can achieve the aspirations of the people.