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Monday , December 6 2021

Can ‘corona-hit’ cast their vote in polls ?

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 23: The Cabinet decision is expected today or at next Thursday’s meeting regarding whether or not to allow those infected with the corona victims or those in quarantine to vote in the parliamentary elections.

Well-informed sources confirmed that the solution to this controversy lies in the government issuing a decree of necessity, and calling for an emergency session to vote on it and publish the law in a special edition of “Al-Kuwait Al- Youm” newspaper before the fifth of next December.

The sources added, “The current National Assembly missed – during its regular session – the opportunity to amend the election law in order to block the way to any constitutional or legal jurisprudence we are now dealing with, which now imposes another constitutional option to block the way to any opportunity to challenge the upcoming elections and nullify the 2020 National Assembly.

The sources explained the options that can be resorted to in dealing with those infected with the coronavirus to prevent them from voting by the force of law, and not by a decision issued by the Council of Ministers, or allocating a place for them in an area that is not required to be within their electoral constituency, and thus allowing the infected from all constituencies to vote in one place and according to specific dates to ensure physical distancing and according to health requirements.

The sources also talked about the option to extend polling hours to more than 12 hours to 18 or even 24 hours, for example, which remains a possible option to reduce congestion at polling stations, whether for those infected with corona or other voters. In the same context, Professor of Constitutional Law Dr Hisham Al-Saleh affirmed that the government may issue a decree of necessity in accordance with Article 71 of the Constitution, which allows the issuance of the decree of necessity if something occurs between the sessions of the Assembly or the period of dissolution of the Parliament, which necessitates urgent measures that cannot be delayed.

In a statement to Al-Seyassah, he added: “The government may present the decree to the current Parliament because it is in ‘session’ until December 10, and the Parliament must decide on it within 15 days, either with approval or rejection, during an emergency session. Al-Saleh confirmed yesterday that “the electoral process will be sound if people with coronavirus are prevented from voting.”

On his Twitter account Al-Saleh said: “The election is an individual political right and it is a duty on the part of the State to protect the society from diseases and maintain public order, including health.” For his part, professor of public law and constitutional expert, Dr Muhammad Al-Feely, confirmed in a statement to the daily that the government has the right to issue a decree that is necessary to resolve this controversy, and that the National Assembly can be called to an exceptional session, and this is another solution.

By Raed Youssef Al-Seyassah Staff

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