Cassation throws out 21 parliamentary candidates


Kuwaitis attend a campaign meeting for Islamist candidate and former MP Mohammed Al-Mutairi in Kuwait City on Nov 20. (AFP)
Kuwaitis attend a campaign meeting for Islamist candidate and former MP Mohammed Al-Mutairi in Kuwait City on Nov 20. (AFP)

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 21: After a marathon session that started from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, the Court of Cassation upheld the decision of the Ministry of Interior and disqualified 21 candidates from contesting in the 2016 National Assembly elections scheduled for Nov 26.

Although the candidates are still waiting for the verdict in an appeal filed at the Administrative Court, it basically means they are out of the contest already. A source noted the disqualified candidates include Safaa Al-Hashim, Bader Al-Dahoum, Atef Al-Azmi, Mane’ Al-Ajmi, Khalid Al-Nif Al-Mutairi, Malik Al-Hamoud Al-Sabah, Mohammad Al-Juwaehil, Hani Hussein and Farah Hussein Sadeq.

They also include Shakir Al-Failakawi, Jaber Ahmad Jassem, Abdullah Zaid Al-Azmi, Ali Darwesh, Khalid Al- Khidher, Abdul-Rahman Hassan and Hussein Hajji. Others are Fawaz Juwai’ed Al-Azmi, Mohammad Al-Haddad, Hassan Al-Bahrani, Eyad Al-Hassawi and Ammar Aseri. Meanwhile, Lawyer Emad Al-Seif and some legal experts commented on the issue via Twitter, and declared “the judgment is not the end of the road for the case since it was a fast-track decision”.

They disclosed the cases will be dealt with objectively, possibly before Thursday, to avoid nullification of the elections or demand for compensations. Women constitute a bigger percentage of the Kuwaiti society so they can greatly influence the results of elections, says Fourth Constituency candidate and former MP Shuaib Al-Muwaiziri. Speaking at a women’s symposium in his constituency, Al-Muwaiziri urged the voters to choose candidates who are keen on defending the rights of citizens.

He asserted a woman is not just a sister, daughter or wife as she is everything rolled into one. He pointed out that since the advent of Islam until the day of resurrection, women have been honored but now they are under a lot of stress and they are facing a number of problems yet they do not receive help from any institution.

He accused the executive authority of not taking into account the situation of women in one way or another. “I think they do not want that! Women now are different from the past. They are burdened with family matters while the executive authority or decision makers do not issue clear laws or resolutions that address the problems of women,” he added. He then stressed the need to stand next to women all the time, not only during elections. “We must stand against anyone who does not want to give women their rights, such as the right to protect family dignity. Also, the State must provide decent livelihood as stipulated in the Constitution, considering tens of thousands of our children are jobless and officials do not respect the Constitution, particularly the provision on ensuring security and prosperity for the entire nation,” he said.

He went on to say that married women encounter problems in schools and hospitals, indicating they are forced to go to private hospitals due to the poor quality of services in public hospitals. He argued the legislative branch should not be held liable for this, as the responsibility lies on the shoulders of citizens due to their choice of candidates. On the other hand, Al-Muwaizri disclosed the monthly income in Kuwait is estimated at KD 1.8 billion and this is sufficient to provide for all the needs of citizens but some of those in power want to humiliate Kuwaitis.

“Kuwait is the richest country with the poorest people,” he lamented. He denounced the current situation, wondering if it is logical for an oil-producing country to have 40,000 jobless citizens. He asked, “Is it conceivable that we have orphans and we cannot find anyone to take care of them or lend them a helping hand? Is it conceivable that citizens suffer due to the rising cost of living? Is it possible that we cannot provide treatment for cancer patients? Is it possible that our daughters have no seats in the university or applied education authority?” Furthermore, parliamentary candidates from the opposition made it clear in their recent speeches that they are not happy with has been happening in the political arena for the past three years.

Fourth Constituency candidate Marzouq Al-Khalifa, who called for the resignation of HH the Prime Minister, said the next Parliament is going to be confrontational and it will uphold the Constitution. Speaking to his constituents at his campaign headquarters in Jahra, the candidate stressed the Kuwaiti public will not forget the tear gas, rubber bullets and physical harm inflicted on young Kuwaiti demonstrators whose only crime was voicing their discontent over the situation of the country. In the same context, some political analysts said the reason behind the dissolution of the previous Parliament was the hostility of its members.

Certain figures have hinted that sharp statements of opposition candidates are for electoral gains, as they use power of tribal ties to take a parliamentary seat. Furthermore, the Constitutional Court on Tuesday will look into the petition filed by Attorney Hani Hussein who challenged the decree on the dissolution of the Parliament and demanded for cancellation of the upcoming elections. Earlier on Monday, the lawyer said the decree lacks conditions for dissolution as there is no legal basis for this step as well as the call for fresh elections.

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

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