Sheikh Malek Al-Humoud Al-Sabah Sheikh Malek Al-Humoud Al-Sabah

KUWAIT: The administrative court said Thursday that ruling family member Sheikh Malek Al-Humoud Al-Sabah can run in election after it refused a government objection for a ruling in favor of the royal this week.

The election authorities had barred Sheikh Malek from running in election because he is a member of the ruling family because the explanatory note of the constitution states that ruling family members should not contest parliamentary election. But the administrative court insisted that the explanatory note does not ban ruling family members from contesting the polls and accordingly he should be allowed to register.

The government has already challenged the ruling before the appeals court amid opinions from several constitutional experts insisting that ruling family members are banned under the constitution from contesting polls. The ruling of the appeals court will be highly decisive in the case.

Dashti's candidacy

The court of cassation, whose rulings are final, is scheduled to issue next Monday its ruling on whether former MP Abdulhameed Dashti can register as candidate through his son. The administrative court had said the measure was legal and allowed it but the appeals court later overturned the verdict saying that candidates must submit their nomination applications in person.

Dashti challenged the ruling at the court of cassation demanding that he be allowed to run in the November 26 polls because he was outside Kuwait for medical treatment and that he cannot return to the country. Dashti's son had submitted a medical certificate for his father while demanding that he be allowed to register for him.

Dashti is also fighting another battle in court after election authorities have disqualified him from running for being convicted in court. The former lawmaker has been handed jail terms totaling 31 years and six months for insulting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The administrative court said he can run and cancelled the election authorities' decision. The issue is now with the appeals court.

Legal authorities

Meanwhile, a joint committee from the interior ministry and Kuwait Municipality for monitoring violations by candidates, granted its members the legal authorities to take the necessary action against the violations. At the end of a joint meeting yesterday, the committee said its members will be given special IDs to stop and remove all violations at election campaign premises or around the polling centers on the election day. The committee has so far issued 30 citations.

The interior ministry said yesterday that four more candidates pulled out of the election race yesterday, leaving 376 hopefuls in the fray. This number does not include 47 candidates who were barred by the election authorities and are still fighting their cases in courts.

Oppressive measures

In the meantime, candidates continued holding campaigns as the date of the snap election approaches. Former Islamist opposition MP Jamaan Al-Harbash strongly criticized the outgoing pro-government national assembly claiming that its members have provided the cover for the government to take oppressive measures.

Citing the example of the government's action of revoking the citizenships of several nationals, Harbash said the previous assembly did not take any action for the implementation of the law in this respect.