By B Izzak

KUWAIT: A large number of opposition lawmakers and activists yesterday declared their total support for leading opposition MP Bader Al-Dahoum, who is facing a crucial ruling by the constitutional court that could nullify his election to the National Assembly. They said that Dahoum is being targeted because he is a leading reformist who is feared by the "forces of corruption", and threatened that if his membership in the Assembly is nullified, they will declare non-cooperation with HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah.

The constitutional court, whose rulings are final, is due to rule on Wednesday if it is competent to look into three petitions challenging the election of Dahoum to the National Assembly in the Dec 5 general polls. A special interior ministry commission had disqualified Dahoum from contesting the Assembly election. He appealed the decision at the administrative court. The lower court supported the decision, but it was overturned by the appeals court and later upheld by the court of cassation, whose rulings are final.

But three petitions challenging Dahoum's election were filed at the constitutional court. One of the petitions claims that Dahoum is barred for life from contesting elections because he was convicted for taking part in storming the National Assembly building during an opposition protest in Nov 2011.

The opposition lawmakers had planned to hold a gathering in Dahoum's support, but agreed to change it to a press conference at the request of the interior minister. Nevertheless, a large number of MPs attended. MP Abdulkarim Al-Kandari said some people still fear the presence of Dahoum in the Assembly because he is a strong reformist, adding that the opposition has tremendous confidence in the court and the judges.

MP Saifi Al-Saifi said the eyes of the entire Kuwaiti people are focused at the court's decision, and disqualifying Dahoum will be for the benefit of corruption. Former MP Adel Al-Damkhi the ruling on Dahoum is a ruling on every reformist. Former MP and legal expert Obaid Al-Wasmi said the constitutional court is not competent to handle the case because the issue had already been settled by the court of cassation.

Former Assembly speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun said the event is a popular voice against all corrupt people. He criticized the government and said Sheikh Sabah should not return as premier. MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri said Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem and the prime minister should "exit the political scene".

MP Hamdan Al-Azemi said if the court rules against Dahoum, he will file to grill the prime minister. MP Marzouq Al-Khalifa said Dahoum has terrified what he called the "deep state" and vowed that all will continue to support him.