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Kuwait society expels member for joining polls

The opposition said it was boycotting the elections to protest against the amendment of the 2006 electoral law

Gulf News

Manama: A Kuwaiti society has expelled a member after he registered to run in next month’s parliamentary elections that the opposition has vowed to boycott.

The Islamic Constitutional Movement (Hadas) said former lawmaker Khodhair Al Enezi had broken the society line announced last week to boycott the elections on December 1.

“We do stress our steady stance not to field candidates and not to vote in the elections,” the society said in a statement. “We commend the wide commitment to the boycott that will reflect on the popular boycott of the next elections. In line with our clear position, we announce that the candidate Khodhair Al Enezi was sacked from the movement and consequently does not represent it in both his candidacy and his positions,” it said.

The movement, established in 1991 following the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi invasion and which at one time had six candidates in the parliament, said there was no candidate representing it in the elections.

The opposition said it was boycotting the elections to protest against the amendment of the 2006 electoral law that reduced the number of candidates a voter can elect from four to one.

It said the decision aimed to curb its influence and to ensure the election of a rubber-stamp parliament.

Several formations said they would push for a national boycott of the elections to weaken the next parliament and have it dissolved on the grounds that it would not be a representative of the people.

However, despite the calls, an exceptionally high number of candidates have signed up their names for the elections in a clear indication of the deep divisions in the Arabian Gulf country.

One day after Kuwait celebrated the 50th anniversary of the constitution with impressive fanfare, the opposition is holding a rally in the Irada Square in the capital. The decision marks a move from the last two street demonstrations that ended in clashes between protesters and the police.

The interior ministry said it would not tolerate unlawful gatherings and demonstrations.

A statement from the ministry said gatherings and rallies were allowed under the constitution, but were confined to the Irada Square.