KUWAIT CITY, Nov 29: The number of 2020 parliamentary election candidates, who withdrew from the electoral race, reached 54 leaving 322 candidates on Saturday – the last day for withdrawal of candidacy.
These candidates include 51 men and three women; eight of whom – seven men and one woman – are from the First Constituency, nine (all men) are from the Second Constituency, 12 (10 men and two women) are from the Third Constituency, 14 (all men) are from the Fourth Constituency and 11 (all men) are from the Fifth Constituency. On the other hand, former MP and Fourth Constituency candidate Mubarak Al-Hajraf said the government is against general amnesty and it does not welcome the idea of minimizing its authority over the nationality issue.
He added the former MPs and government had an agreement to put naturalization under the full control of the executive authority and leave the cancellation of nationality in the hands of the judicial authority. He pointed out the government changed its mind at the last minute and attended the session allotted for voting on the proposal to limit its authority over the nationality issue with all of its ministers who voted against the bill. He asserted the argument of the government that Article One of Law No. 81 for the year 1982 considers nationality a part of sovereignty work is baseless, indicating sovereignty means the relationship of the government with other countries.
First Constituency candidate Dr Sheikha Al-Jassem said a single woman and a single man, who never got married, are excluded from housing welfare projects; while the law allows families to apply for housing grant. She pointed out this situation creates big problems for unmarried individuals, so she is keen on addressing the issue if she wins in the 2020 parliamentary elections. She explained an unmarried woman, who reached 40 years old, usually suffers as she struggles in renting a flat once the parents are dead; because the married siblings want to sell the family house.
She added the 2016 Parliament was 100 percent loyal to the government, as manifested in the fact that it was the only legislature which completed its term. She said Kuwaitis witnessed the dissolution of Parliament within nine months or less if it does not satisfy the government. Former MP and First Constituency candidate Kamel Al- Awadi intends to submit a bill on mortgage and real estate promotion as a solution to the housing issue, clarifying that his suggestion is not a substitute to the traditional mechanism as this is just another option.
He asked the citizens to stop blaming the 2016 Parliament for their woes, because they voted for this legislature. He said it is better for the citizens to choose their representatives carefully, so they have no regrets later. Third Constituency candidate Hamad Adel Al-Obaid asserted the government has been saying for more than 10 years that it is laying down plans for economic reform, yet it started taking such action by targeting the citizens’ pockets.
He said the government repeatedly ignored the recommendations of pro-reform officials on rationalizing expenditure and combating corruption. He also stressed the importance of diversifying the sources of national income in order to wean the nation off total dependence on oil. He wondered why Kuwait does not establish factories for petrochemicals to increase national revenues and help solve the unemployment problem.
Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff