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Kuwait takes tough measures to stop tribal by-elections

KUWAIT: In a sign of the serious measures taken by the government to ban the outlawed tribal by-elections ahead of the Kuwait’s parliament elections in October, sources told Kuwait Times that authorities summoned a person who had planned to host by-elections and gave him a warning.

Authorities have prepared a series of tough security measures against any person who hosts by-elections at his residence which include security restrictions, court cases and can go as far as “withdrawing the host’s residence,” according to the source. These threats have so far forced some hosts to reject candidates’ requests to organize tribal by-elections and refund the registration fees they had already collected from them, the sources added.

Kuwait’s election law bans hosting unofficial by-elections to elect a candidate to represent a tribe,  religious sector, or any other social category ahead of the official election date. Nonetheless, there have been several accounts in recent years of by-elections hosted within tribes to elect a single candidate in hopes of improving a tribe’s chances of representation in the National Assembly.

This practice has drawn public outcry and criticism from other candidates, who complained of authorities’ alleged failure to take serious measures to stop this illegal act.


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