Elections 2016Kuwait

Court bars royal candidate, reinstates ex-MP Hashem

Damkhi slams Iran • Ashour blasts sectarianism • Hackers target Ghanem

KUWAIT: People attend an electoral campaign meeting of Islamist former MP candidate Adel Al-Damkhi on Saturday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat
KUWAIT: People attend an electoral campaign meeting of Islamist former MP candidate Adel Al-Damkhi on Saturday. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: The appeals court yesterday upheld a decision by the election authorities to bar ruling family member Sheikh Malek Al-Humoud Al-Sabah from running in the Nov 26 polls. The court overturned a ruling by the lower administrative court which last week said in a landmark verdict that members of the ruling family can contest parliamentary polls. The Kuwaiti constitution does not explicitly bar ruling family member from competing in parliamentary elections, but its explanatory note states that they cannot run in order to keep the ruling family away from politics.

The lower court said last week the explanatory note does not amount to a ban and allowed Sheikh Malek to remain in the race. But the appeals court rejected the ruling and insisted that ruling family members cannot run in polls. The issue will be settled by the country’s top court, the cassation court, whose rulings are final. If that court decides he can run, the interior ministry will register him.

The appeals court also rejected the candidacy of Khaled Dehrab, supporting the decision of the election authority. It however reinstated former MP Safa Al-Hashem who was barred by the election authority, but reinstated by the lower administrative court. The case will now go to the court of cassation, but it is unlikely the court will bar her.  The appeals court also reinstated three other candidates including Khaled Al-Mutairi. It set tomorrow as the date to issue its verdict on the case of former opposition MP Bader Al-Dahoum. The cassation court is due to issue its verdict on the case of former MP Abdulhameed Dashti today.

Also, the public prosecution freed on a KD 2,000 bail a candidate from the fourth constituency, his relative, who is a lawyer, and an assistant. The men were arrested along with two female voters on the charge of vote-buying. The two women were released a few days ago.

Meanwhile, former opposition Islamist MP Adel Al-Damkhi called for national unity yesterday to face the external danger from Iran, which is also threatening holy sites in Saudi Arabia. He said that in the past “we used to only hear about the Iranian danger, but now it has become a reality and the threat is very explicit”. He also warned that if Saudi Arabia is occupied, Kuwait will be next.

But former MP Saleh Ashour strongly lashed out at opposition groups, saying they signaled their return to the election battle by sectarian speeches that aim at dividing the society. Ashour also criticized the government for offering hundreds of millions of dinars in foreign aid and grants while Kuwaitis are facing an unemployment crisis. Former MP Mohammad Tana also said that Kuwait’s foreign aid must be subjected to the monitoring of the National Assembly, adding that it is far better to spend it on needy people inside Kuwait.

Speaker of the outgoing National Assembly Marzouk Al-Ghanem yesterday said his account on Instagram has been hacked and that he is not responsible for any posts on the account. He said he will take legal measures against the hackers.

By B Izzak

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