KUWAIT CITY, Nov 10: Four parliamentary hopefuls quit the electoral race on Thursday, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) announced, leaving a total of 376 candidates contesting the parliamentary elections due on Nov 26.
In a statement, the MoI’s Department of Election Affairs noted that Ahmad Al-Hamad and Mohammad Al-Hafaiti have relinquished their candidacies in the Second Constituency, while Mohammad Hassan and Nader Al-Otaibi pulled out of the race in the Fifth Constituency.
As per election laws, candidates are permitted to drop out of the electoral race no later than a week before the date of elections.
Meanwhile, the Administrative Court on Thursday revoked the decision to disqualify First Constituency candidate Farah Sadiq Mohammed; thereby, allowing her to contest the 2016 National Assembly elections. On the other hand, the court upheld the disqualification of Second Constituency candidate Mahmoud Al-Failakawi while it rejected the government’s petition against the candidacy of Sheikh Malik Hammud Al-Sabah. Speaking to the press after the announcement of the decision, Sheikh Malik said, “Thank God as the Administrative Court ruled in my favor by cancelling the decision on my disqualification.”
In the meantime, Third Constituency candidate Sana Al-Osfour pointed out the Health Ministry is one of the vital sectors that the government should focus on. She stressed the need for the government to quickly address any crisis which impedes development, indicating the health services offered to citizens neither meet global standards nor match the funds allocated for this purpose. She said this happened due to a number of reasons — such as politicization of the health sector, reluctance to develop the sector and lack of investment in professional medical staff.
Furthermore, First Constituency candidate and former MP Saleh Ashour asserted that the previous legislature took a remarkable step when it passed the Financial Controllers Agency Law which is necessary in protecting public money. However, he alleged the agency does not serve the purpose of its establishment because the government issued unconstitutional regulations whose contents are deemed useless. “This only shows that the government is not really keen on applying the law as it seems hesitant in giving protection to financial controllers,” he added.
He explained the financial controllers must be impartial and independent; hence, the need to protect them especially when they disregard the influence of senior officials in or outside the agency while performing their duties. He also unveiled his plan to push for transfer of the agency from the Finance Ministry to the National Assembly in case he wins a parliamentary seat. He clarified this will ensure that the authority exercises its authority freely, away from government pressure.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff and Agencies