MINISTRY DENIES SOCIAL MEDIA CHARGE ON MANIPULATION – Record turnout seen for definitive poll

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 24: Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of State for National Assembly Affairs’ Research and Information System Department Dr Ahmad Al-Haifi predicted on Thursday a higher voter turnout for the parliamentary elections due on Saturday.

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah’s decision to refer to the people to select their representatives, is a milestone in the history of the nation, Al-Haifisaid. He added that the Ministry of Information (MoI) has thoroughly covered all events in the run up to the elections, which will prove instrumental in ensuring a higher voter turnout.

December 2012’s elections featured the lowest voter turnout with 39.6 percent while 1992’s elections had the highest voter turnout with 84 percent, followed by elections in 1996 with 82.6 percent and elections in 1999 and 2003 with 80.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) on Thursday rejected allegations on social media that it intends to intervene to affect the integrity of the National Assembly (Parliament) elections due on Saturday. Such “fabrications and lies” are “groundless and against the logic,” the ministry’s Public Relations and Security Media Department said in a statement. It attributed the ‘fabrications’ to someone facing several legal charges.

The ministry has drawn up a precise plan for securing the electoral process in the nation’s five constituencies, the statement said, and stressed that no laxity would be shown in implementation. It also stressed that it would not tolerate such “fabrications” against the ministry.

The ministry noted that it reserves the right to take legal action against the tweeter, saying it would not allow such impertinence to happen from whosoever. In latest development, the Court of Cassation on Thursday accepted challenges by nine candidates who were barred from contesting the National Assembly (Parliament) elections due on Saturday.

The Court barred other 13 from the electoral race. The lucky nine hopefuls are Khalda Abdul-Hai Al-Khodor, Abdulrahman Hassan Al- Otaibi, Safaa Abdulrahman Al-Hashim, Atef Mohammad Mutair, Fawaz Saoud Al-Azmi, Mane’a Fahd Al-Ajmi, Farah Abdul-Hamid Hussein, Hassan Naji Ibrahim Al-Bahrani, Mohammad Abdul-Rahaman Al-Failakwi.

The 13 others who were dropped form the candidates’ list for the Nov 26 vote are Jaber Ahmad Hassan Al-Saad, Khalid Abdullah Al-Mutairi, Mohammad Abdul-Amir Al- Haddad, Jassim Mohammad Ali Bu-Hindi, Mahmoud Shaker Mahmoud Hassan, Hani Hassan Ali Hussein, Malek Humoud Al-Sabah, Ali Darwish Ali, Bader Zayed Hamad Al-Azmi, Issa Hussein Haji, Ammar Abdulaziz Asiri, Mohammad Salim Al-Juwihel, and Iyad Mohammad Shamlan Al- Hassawi. In the meantime, the Court accepted withdrawal of lawsuits and drop of litigation by Abdul-Hamid Abbas Dashti and Abdullah Zayed Al-Azmi,

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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