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65 up for by-polls 4 women to run

KUWAIT CITY, May 25: Thirteen new candidates registered on the sixth day of filing candidacies for the National Assembly by-elections on June 26, the Ministry of Interior’s Elections Affairs Department announced Sunday. In a press statement, the department stated that 13 more candidates including one woman — Amani Jalil Al-Saleh — registered Sunday to represent three constituencies where the by-elections will take place.

This brings the total number of registered candidates to 65 including four women. According to the department , the registered candidates from the Second Constituency were Jasem Mohammed Aboul, Abdul-Rahman Al-Kandari, Hassan Salem Al-Heed, Abdullatif Mohammed Baqir and Meshaal Ghareb Jamal; while those from the Third Constituency were Amani Jalil Al-Saleh, Tariq Abbas Abdullah, Osman Osman Al-kouh and Mohammed Abdulaziz Al- Badawi.

Those who registered from the Fourth Constituency were Ajil Tamran Al-Shammari, Ali Daham Al-Ruhaili, Fawaz Faris Al-Rashidi, Mohammad Khaled Al-Rashidi and Walid Mohammed Al-Nasser. Although there was a woman amongst those who filed their candidacies on Sunday, Waleed Mohammed Al-Nasser — a candidate from the Fourth Constituency — attracted attention of the media as he entered wearing a green ‘besht’ (formal Kuwaiti attire) and he was carrying a staff. Speaking to the press after his registration, Al-Nasser asserted, “We are now living at a time where hypocrites and swindlers are everywhere.” Al-Nasser also called for something that the Kuwaiti public will find disturbing and unacceptable — the establishment of a ‘red light’ district by the seaside to include gambling halls and bars. He said Kuwait is lagging behind in this field. Justifying his proposal, he stated there are around 500,000 Kuwaitis who consume alcohol on a weekly basis; while others do it daily. “It is only logical that we legalize alcohol,” he added.

Referring to high-ranking officials, Al- Nasser claimed, “they are all lying to the people and mocking them with empty promises.” He then asked, “Where are all the medical cities or commercial cities they promised?” The candidate went on to point out that he contested the elections in the past as a candidate for the urban layer of society but he failed, he then grew a beard and ran again; hoping the Salafists will support him, but all his efforts were in vain. He affirmed that he is now here for the third time as a Fourth Constituency candidate, hoping the ‘Bedouin’ layer of society won’t let him down. Some sources alleged he was paid by opposition figures to register for the byelections and mock the whole system; while others disagreed, claiming that he has honest intentions.

The parliamentary Financial and Economic Affairs Committee meanwhile, discussed the proposed amendments to the Capital Markets Authority Law in a meeting with Deputy Premier and Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr Abdul- Mohsen Al-Mudej on Sunday. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Committee Rapporteur Mohammed Al- Jabri revealed the government had promised to present its written opinion on the amendments within 10 days. He said the panel will discuss some observations made by parliamentary consultants in its next meeting.

He added the application of laws may reveal some loopholes which must be rectified; hence, the need to amend some articles of the Capital Markets Authority Law to serve the interests of the public. He went on to say he supports calls for the autonomy of the authority to ensure that the government does not interfere in its activities.

He believes this step will greatly contribute to efforts for the authority to become a member of international financial markets and bourses. He hopes the committee will complete its report on the proposal in two or three meetings.

Moreover, MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji submitted another set of questions to Minister of Interior Sheikh Mohammed Al-Khaled; while he prepares his interpellation against the minister as he disclosed earlier this month. He wants to know how and when the ministry discovered the recent stealing of weapons from the Special Forces warehouse, as well as the types and actual number of weapons stolen. He alleged the repeated stealing of weapons is a clear indication that the security system of Kuwait is flawed. He wonders why the ministry does not implement a stronger and more efficient system to prevent such incidents.

He also stressed the need to take precautionary measures and asked why the ministry allows under qualified staff to stay in the weapons warehouse. He inquired about the steps taken since the theft was discovered till date and reasons for the exclusion of the Public Prosecution from the investigation, especially since the thefts occurred in the absence of a certain high-ranking official. In another development, MP Nabil Al- Fadil submitted questions to Minister of Education and Higher Education Ahmed Al-Mulaifi on the alleged bullying of students due to their sectarian affiliations. He pointed out that law number 19/ 2012 on the protection of national unity prohibits anyone from advocating or inciting — by any means of expression — hatred or contempt of any class in the society; provoke sectarian or tribal strife; promote ideas on the superiority of one race, group, color, origin, religious doctrine, race or lineage over others; instigation of violence for this purpose; or broadcasting, publication, printing, reproduction, production or circulation of any content (print visual or audio) regarded as false information that would lead to the above action.

The penalties include imprisonment for not more than seven years and fine of not less than KD10,000 and not more than KD100,000 or either of the two. He added that although this law has been enacted to serve the higher interests of the country in order to expedite the enactment of legislation on protection of national unity and the social fabric; many parents still complain about violence among students, especially among those in the middle and higher educational levels. He wants to know the measures that the ministry has taken to address the issue, reasons for failure to provide practical solutions, if there have been reports on violent acts from government schools and if the school administrations have a clear plan to increase awareness among students on the importance of maintaining national unity.

By: Ahmed Al-Naqeeb and Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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