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Monday , September 26 2022

Is the crime of voter transfers, ‘headband’ fights in the past?

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THE royal speech delivered by His Highness the Crown Prince outlined the path for resolving the crisis that the country has suffered from for three years. During these years, confusion prevailed and everything was disrupted, starting with the work of the government, passing through the National Assembly, to reach the economic and development activities, and even social and cultural activities.

The political leadership has fulfilled what it promised, either in forming a new Cabinet with a new prime minister, or dissolving the National Assembly and calling for elections, so as to have the choice and decision of the people about who will represent them in the legislative authority.

On the sidelines, the issue of vote transfer arose, which is one of the methods of falsifying the popular will that have been a trend in the past years. It represents a described crime, according to the opinions of jurists and a number of MPs.

This is due to the fact that it leads to the reproduction of tribal and sectarian fanaticism that the state sought to eliminate but it failed as a result of massive manipulation, favoritism, “wasta” and collusion between agents and candidates.

Based on these facts, Kuwaitis welcomed the political leadership’s pledge not to interfere in the general elections, or the elections of the speaker of the parliament and parliamentary committees.

In the same context, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmed Al-Nawaf warned the ministers not to receive any candidates or representatives, and that any violation of this order would render the person involved to be referred to the Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha).

In the spirit of more reassurance that a new era has begun with this articulated discourse, just as the fight against corruption of all kinds has begun, there will be no consideration for anyone’s social, tribal or family status.

Nonetheless, there is news leaking from the senior councils of the ruling family that the crime of vote transfer is under a microscope, and that voting by civil ID does not require constitutional amendments, but can be enacted by an Amiri order or a decree of necessity.

This comes especially after the great scandals that have been unfolding in the past years after the mechanization of civil and nationality information and public services, which revealed the actual residence of each person. Therefore, the transfer of votes, which was done using a residence certificate, became evidence of a premeditated crime.

In this sense, combating and eliminating this phenomenon is an actual beginning of the fight against corruption.

Kuwaitis realize that many areas are plagued by this crime, which was carried out with imbecility and foolishness to the point of not observing the simplest legal principles.

Over the past ten years, the Interior ministers and the executives of a number of institutions have contributed to it, and it constituted a false lever for the victory of a number of candidates by proxy, which led to the falsification of the popular will.

Today, things are clear to everyone. Just as the political leadership worked to stop the absurd conflict between the Cabinet and the parliament, which found great satisfaction among all Kuwaitis, the people need a clear statement from the leadership, or even the Cabinet, that the votes that were falsely transferred will be returned back to where they belong.

Also, a clear statement should be made that the upcoming elections will be fair and impartial to the fullest extent. The candidates must provide everything that benefits the country and the people in general, without just inciting people, and throwing “headbands”, which caused all the calamities that the country is currently enduring.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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