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30 Kuwait election candidates likely to be ruled out

Vote fever gripping Kuwait as registration ends

  • A campaign billboard of candidate Rabah Al Najadah being installed ahead of theparliamentary elections on SuImage Credit: AFP
  • Kuwaiti candidate Saad al-Enezi registers for the upcoming parliamentary election in Kuwait City on July 2, 20Image Credit: AFP
Gulf News

Manama: Around 30 of the 418 Kuwaitis who signed up to run as candidates in the parliamentary elections later this month could be asked to pull out, a local report has said.

The withdrawal request is related to the violation of the election laws that rule out the candidacy of people found guilty of breaking the law, including issuing dud bank cheques, sources told the Al Aan news site on Sunday.

The 10-day registration process ended on Saturday and recorded more candidates than in the last three elections.

Crossing out names of candidates in parliamentary elections for not meeting the strict requirements to be a fully eligible candidate is a regular feature in Kuwait ahead of the polls.

However, dismissed candidates can take their cases against the elections high commission to the court where the final decision on the merit of the candidacy is announced.

With 20 days to go until election day, tribes, a major component of Kuwaiti society, have been actively engaged in choosing their candidates to ensure they have the highest chances of being elected, in a move reminiscent of the preliminaries in large political parties in other countries.

Candidates have been giving statements promoting themselves and their programmes to ease the country out of the political crisis that have marked it for months.

The government and the opposition have been embroiled in a bitter stand-off over the merit of holding the elections under the ‘one voter, one vote’ principle decreed last year.

Following the decision by the Constitutional Court to uphold the decree that amended the electoral law and slashed the number of candidates a voter could elect from four to one, the opposition has mounted a series of meetings to press for the boycott of the elections.

However, candidates have been urging for a massive turnout on July 27.

In the Fourth Constituency, the absence of women candidates has been felt bitterly by those who supported the presence of women in the parliament.

Although eight women have signed up to run as candidates, they are all from the other four constituencies.

The Fourth Constituency is tribe-dominated and women have found it very challenging to break through the deep-rooted social traditions.

Four women made history in 2009 when they won seats in the parliament but their feat was not repeated in February 2012, when no woman made it to the legislative house. However, in December 2012, three women were elected.