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Friday , November 27 2020

MoI likely to decide on cancelling poll HQ, tents in view of ‘corona’

‘Contestants can book appointment on website’

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 11: The Director of the Election Affairs Administration, Colonel Dr. Ahmad Al-Hajri said that the Interior Ministry is coordinating with the concerned authorities including the health to take the final decision about cancelling the election headquarters and tents, reports Al-Rai daily. Al-Hajri told the daily as preparations for the election season continue those wishing to contest the elections can do so by booking an appointment on the ministry website with the help of barcode because of the current circumstances the country is going through due to the corona pandemic.

He said, the Ministry of Interior is determined to take into account the health situation to ensure the safety of everyone, and strictly enforce the health requirements during the 2020 elections including social distancing at the polling booth.

In the meantime, Al-Hajri lamented the residents of eight regions – male and female – will not be able to cast their ballots during the upcoming National Assembly elections simply because they are not registered in the electoral districts, reports Al-Rai daily quoting reliable sources. Al-Hajri said, “This is a problem that the Ministry of Interior is facing because there are many who criticize the ministry and say the ministry is the reason why the citizens of eight modern areas – Jaber Al-Ahmad, Sabah Al-Ahmad, Al-Nahda, northwest Al-Sulaibikhat, Abu Futaira, Anjafa, Abu Al-Hassaniya, and Al- Masayel are denied the right to cast their ballot, but the truth is that the ministry has presented a draft law to the National Assembly to add the residents of these areas to electoral constituencies, but to no avail. About the preparations made by the General Administration of Elections Affairs for the next parliamentary elections, he said, because of the ‘corona pandemic’, some measures unlike the previous elections will be taken.

As for the one of the conditions to contest the elections, Al-Hajri said the contestant on the polling day must not be less than 30 years old, must provide two personal photos, and pay 50 dinars registration fee in cash. K-Net will not be accepted.

However, those convicted by the court in Kuwait are not allowed to contest the elections and those who are accused of insulting the divinity, prophets and the person of HH the Amir are barred from contesting the polls.

He said, it is not a secret to anyone about the current conditions that the country is going through due to the pandemic, which necessitated the Ministry of Interior, taking into account the health situation, and carrying out its duties through coordination and meetings with the concerned authorities, to ensure the safety of the country and its people, by setting all health requirements, as has been done in coordination with the Ministry of Education to determine the schools designated for polling day, and in coordination with the Ministry of Justice to provide counselors, judges and prosecutors, and the Ministry of Telecommunications to extend the necessary phone lines.

Those wishing to contest will be allowed to enter on the Ministry of Interior website, to book an appointment through the barcode to visit in person the election commission. However, the number should not exceed 22 candidates per hour.

Those wishing to contest have 10 days to register their names. Speaking of polling centers, he said, at the moment there are 102 designated schools, and “we are working to add 20 new schools in the five electoral districts to ensure safety and social distancing for voters of both sexes, but working hours cannot be increased, because this requires legislation from Parliament. All voters are required to wear masks and gloves, and to take their temperatures before entering the polling stations.”

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