KUWAIT CITY, Oct 19: A member of Kuwait’s ruling family announced Wednesday his candidacy for next month’s parliamentary election, a rare move in the country where royals normally stay away from polls. Sheikh Malek Humoud Al-Sabah was among 71 hopefuls who filed to stand for election on the first day of registration which saw some opposition members return after a four year boycott.
“The previous assembly let down the Kuwaiti people and I am contesting the polls to defend the rights of the people,” said Sheikh Malek. Speaking to reporters in Kuwait City, he said he had given up his special passport “to become an ordinary citizen” and that he does not mind losing other benefits. Under the Kuwaiti Constitution, royals are eligible to run for public office.
Only a few have registered as candidates in the country’s 54 years of democracy, but all have dropped out before election day. The last royal to register their candidacy was Sheikh Fahad Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah, who withdrew before the 2006 election. The 10-day registration period will end on Oct 28, 2016 while the elections will be held on Nov 26, 2016. Following are the candidates who registered on the first day:
■ First Constituency (11 candidates) — Ahmed Al- Mulaifi, Bader Naser Al-Shuqaihi, Hussein Nasser Al-Huraiti, Khalid Ayub Al-Khamees, Sulman Saleh Al-Attar, Abdullah Mohammed Al-Turaiji, Ali Darwish Al-Aradi, Ali Mohammed Mohammed Al-Ali, Essa Ahmed Al-Kandari, Faisal Saud Al-Duwaisan and Yousif Al-Zalzalah.
■ Second Constituency (11 candidates) — Ahmed Khalid Bu-Ghais, Ahmed Mohammed Al-Hamed, Bader Hamed Al-Mulla, Jalil Ibrahim Ali, Khalid Ayed Al-Anazi, Rakan Yusif Al-Nisf, Salem Ali Al-Shuwaikir, Adel Musaid Al-Kharafi, Adnan Ibrahim Al-Mutawa, Fahad Al-Saleh Al-Khanna and Mohammed Butaihan Al-Hajiri.
■ Third Constituency (18 candidates) — Jamal Hussein Al-Omar, Hamad Ibrahim Al-Tuwaijiri, Rawdan Al-Rawdan, Sadoun Hamad Al-Otaibi , Sanad Rashid Al-Otaibi , Abdul-Kareem Abdullah Al-Kandari, Abdullah Ahmed Al-Kandari, Abdullah Yusif Al-Mayouf, Abdul-Mohsen Ali Al-Saeed, Abdul-Wahab Mohammed Al-Rasheed, Adnan Salman Al-Salem, Ali Saleh Al- Omair, Faris Saad Al-Otaibi, Mohammed Salem Al-Yusef , Muhalhel Khalid Al-Mudaf , Hisham Abdul-Samad Al-Saleh, Yakoub Abdul-Mohsen Al-Sanei , and Yusif Saleh al-Fadallah.
■ Fourth Constituency (15 candidates) — Khalil Ibrahim Al-Shimiri, Saad Mindeel Al- Anazi, Abdullah Mohammed Al-Mutairi, Ajeel Tamran Al-Shimiri, Amash Fahad Al-Shimiri, Ghaleb Dhari Al-Mutairi, Faraz Mohammed Al-Deehani, Falah Ali Al-Muasab, Fahad Eyada Al- Harbi, Fuhaidi Mohammed Al-Ajmi, Marzouk Khalifa Al-Khalifa, Mufrah Ewadh Al-Mutairi, Nayef Daidan Al- Mutairi, Nayef Mohammed Al-Harni and Hashem Sanad Al-Sulaili.
■ Fifth Constituency (16 candidates) — Ahmad Zarman Al-Azmi, Al-Humaidi Bader Al-Subaie, Bader Fares Al-Khurainej, Barrak Al-Azmi, Hussein Majbal Al-Rushaidi, Saif Mutlaq Al-Azmi, Daifallah Nahar Al-Otaibi, Abdullah Ibrahim Al-Tamimi, Ali Nasser Ali, Faisal Mohammad Al- Kandari, Malik Hamoud Al-Sabah, Marzouq Falah Al-Azmi, Mishari Ahmad Abdullah, Mishari Mohammad Al-Dawsari, Mahdi Hassan Al-Ajmi and Nouri Khalaf Al-Qalaf.
Meanwhile, Director General of the Public Relations and Security Media Department at the Ministry of Interior Brigadier General Adel Al-Hashash has confirmed that all the necessary measures have been taken to ensure the safety of everyone on the day of elections, taking into consideration the current situation in the region.
He said they are now putting the final touches on the security plan for the elections. He warned the ministry will not tolerate primary elections and the necessary legal action will be taken against those proven to have violated the law such as imposing fine of KD 5,000. In a press statement after filing his candidacy, former MP Ahmed Al- Mulaifi explained that his slogan, “To Where Kuwait”, is not a question but an outcry to revive the people’s conscience.
He asserted, “We will try to bring back the good old days and realized the present and future goals of this country. Everyone knows we live in a situation that no one accepts as we felt the bitterness and pain of corruption in the legislative authority, especially since we used to see corruption only in the executive branch.”
Fourth Constituency candidate Marzouk Al-Khalifa voiced objection to the decision of the Interior Ministry to prevent candidates from issuing press statements. He also revealed that he decided to contest the elections when the legislature deviated from the Constitution and its oversight role was disrupted. He cited the DNA Law as a manifestation of the oversight role disruption, describing the law as deformed and a stain on the forehead of the previous Parliament and the government.
Fifth Constituency candidate Abdullah Al-Tamimi said the democratic election atmosphere has returned, praying that Almighty God will help the candidates in their bid to serve Kuwait and its people. He pointed out there are many challenges in the next phase, while emphasizing the need to follow up and implement all the important laws passed by the previous Parliament to better serve the people of Kuwait as they continue to face internal and regional challenges.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah ordered on Wednesday forming a special panel to examine nomination papers of the candidates vying for seats in the upcoming 50-member National Assembly (Parliament). The commission, to be presided by the first public attorney, justice Sultan Majed Boujarwa, will check the candidacy papers to ensure all the required terms and specifications for the nominees are met and available, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said in a statement. The panel, which will hold its sessions at the headquarters of the election department, is entitled to seek any information or documents from any authority, and will report to the Ministry of Interior.
The MoI statement came as the electoral process kicked off early today, when candidates started submitting their registration papers at the set centers across Kuwait. Candidates’ papers’ submission will proceed till Oct 28, pending the balloting due on Nov 26.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff and Agencies