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Saturday , January 16 2021

Poll cuts upheld

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 22: The Fatwa and Legislation Department appealed the verdict of the First Instance Court to cancel the disqualification decision of the Elections Committee.

The court then upheld the decision of the committee. In a related development, the Court of Appeals will hold a session on Tuesday to take a decision on the appeal filed by the disqualified candidates.

Meanwhile, Kuwait Society of National Integrity (KSNI) has submitted a complaint to Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) about the commercial contracts signed between certain candidates for the 2020 National Assembly elections and some election analysts who are not authorized to do such a job. In its complaint, KSNI pointed out the abovementioned analysts usually publish surveys based on wrong data in order to influence the voters’ decision.

It called on the concerned authorities to prevent the publication of the results of such surveys to maintain fairness of the elections. On the other hand, former MP and Fourth Constituency Askar Al-Anzi urged Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Ahmed Al-Mansour to revise the decision to refer some colonels for retirement. He argued this is not the right time to refer these colonels for retirement as such a step will have a negative impact on their pension from the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS), considering they will be treated like civilian employees. He asked Al-Mansour to either delay their retirement or promote them to brigadier as part of the powers given to him by law.

Second Constituency candidate Dr Aliaa Al-Khalid said Kuwait lacks freedom of speech and free journalism, indicating it is pointless to take reform steps in a chaotic environment. She cited as an example the referral of some individuals accused of involvement in visa trading to the Public Prosecution, only to acquit them later; pointing out that Kuwait has no law criminalizing visa trading. She added the results of investigations on the leakage of State Security records are similar to that of the Watergate scandal. She also stressed the need to enforce laws on protecting whistleblowers and develop the role of the fourth authority – the media.

Former MP and Second Constituency candidate Riyadh Al-Adasani disclosed that 11 members of the 2016 Parliament are involved in money laundering and suspicious swelling of bank accounts. He said five of these former MPs were referred to the prosecution and two of the five were referred to the court.

He added the files of two former MPs are in the custody of Kuwait Financial Investigations Unit, in addition to four files in Nazaha; while unveiling his plan to divulge the identifies of these former MPs if their files are set aside and he will present strong evidence to support his claim. He also wondered how the government could announce the public budget deficit and then submit a bill on granting KD 3 billion loan to businesspersons. He considers it an honor to challenge the issuance of the economic document which is aimed at imposing tax, reducing subsidy, increasing prices, and suspending promotions, allowances and appointments.

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