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Kuwait to hold polls April 4
Decree inviting voters to be issued March 3

KUWAIT: The Cabinet decided on Tuesday to hold snap parliamentary elections on April 4, which coincides with the last 10 days of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, government spokesman Amer Al-Ajmi said. Ajmi said that during its meeting on Tuesday “the Cabinet approved a draft Amiri decree inviting voters to elect the National Assembly on Thursday, April 4”. The draft decree has been sent to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

He said that the decree will be issued on March 3 and registration of candidates will start the following day. The registration of hopefuls for a seat in the 50-member National Assembly will continue for 10 days, in accordance with the Kuwaiti elections law. Ajmi said that the last day for the withdrawal of candidates will be March 28. Voting will start at 12 noon and end at 12 midnight, based on the elections law issued by the Cabinet last week because elections will be held in Ramadan.

His Highness the Amir, who became ruler on December 20, dissolved the National Assembly on February 15. Under Kuwaiti law, fresh elections must be held within two months of dissolving the Assembly. The dissolved opposition-dominated Assembly was elected on June 5 and lasted for under nine months. It was the third Assembly to be dissolved since August 2022.

Since 2006, the National Assembly has been dissolved nine times and nullified by the Constitutional Court on three occasions, mainly due to political disputes. A candidate for parliamentary elections must be Kuwaiti by birth as naturalized citizens are barred from running in polls, at least 30 years of age and had not been jailed for a crime unless he/she had been rehabilitated.

A majority of the 50 members of the dissolved house are expected to seek re-election. Poll campaigns are expected to start after registration of candidates is completed. There are about 800,000 eligible male and female voters in Kuwait as servicemen in the military and police force are not allowed to vote.

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