The Constitutional Court yesterday rejected a petition demanding to halt the general election over suspicions that the Amiri decree calling for polls is unconstitutional. Accordingly, the election will be held as initially decided on July 27. The petition was filed by lawyer Adel Abdulhadi who has argued that the formation of the current Kuwait Cabinet violates conditions required under the constitution, an argument that was not accepted by the Administrative Court about two weeks ago.
The Council of Ministers yesterday agreed to allow a team of international monitors to observe the July 27 elections in cooperation with Kuwait Transparency Society. The Cabinet said after its weekly meeting that the decision was taken to ensure that standards of transparency and fairness are completely applied at the next election.
With less than two weeks remaining for parliamentary elections set for July 27, the campaign headquarters of nearly 400 registered candidates are still deserted by voters while it was noticed that a notable number of candidates decided against setting up a main center for their campaigns. In this regard, observers said that the unusual lack of voter interest is most likely connected to the fact that this year’s elections are held during the summer and coincide with Ramadan, noting that people are mostly busy with visits that are likely to go on until the tenth day of the holy month.
RIYADH: The $12 billion in aid Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait offered Egypt this week showed their delight at the army’s ousting of President Mohamed Morsi in a reversal for Islamists empowered by the Arab ferment of 2011. It also marked a recalibration of power among Gulf Arab states which, with the notable exception of Qatar, had viewed the Arab uprisings as catastrophic for regional stability and feared the Muslim Brotherhood would use its domination of Egypt to push a radical, Islamist agenda in their own backyard.
The Interior Ministry announced yesterday that it has referred three tribal primary election cases to the public prosecution for investigation and plans to send the fourth today. The ministry said in a statement that two cases took place in the Fourth Constituency and the third in the Fifth District while the fourth one to be made today is in the Fifth Constituency.
The Kuwaiti opposition has reiterated its position of boycotting the July 27 election, saying that the single-vote law, which was confirmed by the Constitutional Court last month, has undermined the constitution and aggravated divisions in the society. Speakers at a gathering late Sunday night also called for deeper democratic reforms including a number of constitutional amendments to strengthen democracy in the country.
Despite governmental promises to tackle irregularities ahead of parliamentary elections set for June 27, several dailies reported yesterday that primaries as well as vote buying activities are taking place in all constituencies. Al-Jarida daily reported that a vote’s price this year ranges between KD 1,000 to KD 2,000 “after the single-vote system cut the ‘supply’ and increased demand”, according to sources with knowledge of the issue.
The administrative court yesterday set July 14 as the date to issue its ruling on a petition demanding that the July 27 election should be suspended because the current Cabinet is illegal. Lawyer Adel Abdulhadi, who filed the petition last week, argued in the court yesterday that the government’s composition is not in line with the constitution which requires that at least one of its members must be an elected MP.
Two former MPs, Jamal Al-Omar and Mohammad Al-Huwailah, were among 47 new candidates who registered to run in the July 27 election, raising the total number of hopefuls to 339 with just two days more for registrations. Mishari Mohammad Al-Anjari however became the first candidate to withdraw from the race yesterday. Pulling out of the race is open until 10 days before the actual election day. Registration closes tomorrow.
A Kuwaiti voter residing in the new residential area of Nahdha yesterday filed a new petition calling for the court to suspend the July 27 election because his area is not listed among any of the five electoral constituencies. As a result, the voter will not be able to participate in the election either as a candidate or voter. Under Kuwait election law, a candidate must be a registered voter and for citizens to vote, their residential areas must be part of any of the five constituencies.It was the third petition against the election.
he Cabinet yesterday put the election process on hold “as a precautionary measure” while the country waits for the constitutional court to explain its verdict issued last week amid expectation the election date could change. The constitutional court, whose rulings are final, is scheduled to provide legal interpretations for its verdict which ordered the National Assembly dissolved and confirmed the controversial single-vote amendment.
The Cabinet is expected to hold an extraordinary session today to discuss an ideal date for the parliamentary election following the constitutional court’s ruling that scrapped the National Assembly as the debate over the verdict continues among various political groups. The Cabinet may announce the election date today after approving a decree to dissolve the Assembly or postpone a final decision until the beginning of next week.
The Gulf Cooperation Council yesterday unanimously declared Lebanon-based Hezbollah a terrorist organization and said it would take measures against the group’s interest in the Gulf countries.
“All GCC countries are convinced that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization,” Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Ghanim bin Fadl Al-Buainain told reporters following a meeting of GCC foreign ministers in Jeddah.
In what appears to be the first confrontation with supposedly loyal MPs, the government boycotted the parliamentary session yesterday as all Cabinet ministers submitted their resignations to the prime minister a day after five MPs filed to grill the oil and interior ministers. National Assembly Speaker Ali Al-Rashed told reporters after a meeting with Justice Minister Shareeda Al-Maousherji that he has been informed that “Cabinet ministers submitted their resignation to the prime minister and accordingly they will not attend the Assembly session tomorrow (today)”.
KUWAIT: MP Khalil Al-Saleh yesterday submitted a draft law calling to amend the nationality law in a way to allow granting citizenship to non-Muslims, saying taking the religion factor in nationality affairs amounts to a form of discrimination. The Shiite lawmaker said that the Kuwaiti nationality law, first introduced in 1959, did not stipulate religious conditions in granting citizenship to foreigners. However, an amendment introduced in 1982 required that foreigners who may be granted Kuwaiti citizenship should be Muslim by birth or have embraced Islam for at least five years.
KUWAIT CITY, May 1, (Agencies): Kuwait was rated ‘Partly Free’ in the Freedom in the World 2013 Report released Wednesday by the Freedom House.
Freedom House, a non-profit organization, evaluates press freedom in various countries all over the world every year, rating each country from 1 to 7 for political rights (PR) and civil liberties (CL) with 1 as the ‘most free’ and 7 the ‘least free’.
Kuwait’s ruler opened the country’s new parliament on Sunday in the face of months of street protests and political unrest, warning critics he would not accept lawless behavior and chaos on the streets.
Security forces had set up barriers that stopped several hundred opposition activists - a small crowd by Kuwaiti standards - approaching the building overnight to continue their demonstrations against what they see as a rubber-stamp assembly.
Kuwait’s new parliament will hold its first session on December 16, two weeks after the elections were held despite calls by the opposition to boycott them.
Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah has launched consultations with former parliament speakers and former premier Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad on the name of the prime minister amid speculations that Shaikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Sabah would be asked to remain at the position he has held since late last year.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah yesterday accepted the resignation of the Cabinet submitted by Prime Minsiter Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah in a measure required under the constitution.
The Amir asked the premier and other ministers to continue as a care-taker government until the new Cabinet is formed. Under Kuwaiti law, the Cabinet must resign after the announcement of the parliamentary election results and a new Cabinet must be formed before the National Assembly holds its first session which must be within two weeks of the results.