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Duties of polling station judges spelt out

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 24: Judges, who will chair the polling stations during the 2020 parliamentary elections on Dec 5, are required to carry out the following:

■ Scrutinize the roster of voters to highlight those prohibited from voting due to the final court rulings against them and failure to obtain a qualification verdict,

■ Assist illiterate voters without violating their privacy,

■ Deal with voters who have mental problems and those who might forget to bring their original nationality certificates,

■ Supervise the implementation of health regulations, including social distancing, to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Assistant Undersecretary for Financial Affairs at the Ministry of Education Yousef Al-Najjar has confirmed the completion of preparations for 102 schools which will be used as polling stations, in addition to five schools allotted as the main voting centers.

Al-Najjar said the ministry has asked its finance counterpart to approve the budget for the elections, affirming that the managers of schools and the emergency engineers will be present on Election Day. He added Dec 6 – the day after elections – will be a holiday for the schools to pave way for cleaning and refurbishing schools which will be utilized as polling stations and centers. He affirmed an agreement has been reached with Kuwait Municipality to completely clean these schools and their surroundings.

He said the ministry works daily with its interior and justice counterparts, as well as the Civil Defense Directorate, to ensure the schools are ready for the elections. On the other hand, disqualified Fifth Constituency candidate and former MP Dr Badr Al-Dahoum disclosed that the Court of Appeals adjourned until Thursday the hearing on the petition against the decision of the Elections Committee to disqualify some candidates. He is one of the eight candidates disqualified by the committee, whose decision was upheld by the First Instance Court.

In addition, First Constituency candidate and former MP Adnan Abdulsamad explained that he supported Minister of Finance Barrak Al-Shitan in the two grilling motions submitted against him in the previous legislature. He affirmed the minister fully cooperated with the parliamentary Budgets and Final Accounts Committee, indicating the latter worked hard to reduce the proposed State budget from KD 21.5 billion to KD 20 billion.

He said Al-Shitan supported the parliamentary recommendation to collect revenues retained by several public institutions such as Kuwait Ports Authority (KPA), Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), Ministry of Communications and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC). Third Constituency candidate Dr Shaikha Al-Jassem is the first candidate to put culture, arts and literature on top of her priorities.

Her aim is to regain the pioneering role of Kuwait in culture and arts, which are considered keys to tapping the creative potential of citizens. She believes Kuwait is capable of occupying an advanced position in these fields as the country possesses the elements needed to achieve this goal. Third Constituency candidate and former MP Ahmed Al-Fadl launched a scathing attack against the Ministry of Education and Public Authority for Manpower (PAM).

He claimed the ministry controls planning, execution and evaluation; while he does not trust the senior officials at PAM as they are allegedly part of corruption which led to a remarkable increase in the number of marginal workers. He added Kuwait will have 130,000 graduates in the next five years and these graduates will need jobs. He also warned that the unemployment crisis shall remain unsolved unless the major projects are implemented

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