CORRUPTION FIGHT MAIN MOTIVATOR FOR NEWBIES, VETERAN MPs
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First-timers voice disappointment with 2016 Assembly
KUWAIT CITY, Oct 26: A total of 93 citizens, including eight women, filed their candidacies for the 2020 National Assembly elections on Monday – the first day of registration for those who intend to contest the elections. These candidates include a number of first-timers and some former MPs.
The Fourth Constituency recorded the highest number of candidates on the first day of registration – 24 and all of them are males, followed by the First Constituency with 21 including three women, Third Constituency with 20 including three women, Fifth Constituency with 18 including one woman, and Second Constituency with 10 including one woman.
Former MP Abdulwahab Al-Babtain was the first to arrive at the Candidates Registration Center in Khawla School for Girls in Shuwaikh residential area. Several other former MPs also registered on the first day; including Thamer Al-Suwait, Abdullah Al-Kandari, Faisal Al-Kandari, Muhammad Haif, Sa’adoun Hammad, Khalil Al-Saleh, Majed Al-Anzi, Faisal Al-Duwaisan, Mubarak Al-Khreinej and Ya’aqiub Al-Sanei. Meanwhile, the first-time candidates expressed dissatisfaction over the general performance of the 2016 Assembly as it failed to issue legislation that the citizens need. Most of the candidates disclosed that combating corruption is their top priority once elected to the Assembly.
It is worth mentioning that Talal Abdulhameed Dashti, the son of former MP Abdulhameed Dashti who was convicted in the Abdally Cell case, is among the candidates who registered on Monday. In another development, MP Muhammad Al-Dallal submitted a proposal for the government to lay down a work plan involving the concerned ministries – Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, Education, Foreign Affairs and Information – in organizing annual forums which will be held in European cities to explain Islam and present the right image of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
He also suggested establishing an institution which will file complaints against those offending Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to the concerned global organizations like the United Nations. On the other hand, official spokesperson of the government Tariq Al-Mezrem confirmed the issuance of a decree to accept the resignation of Minister of Information and State Minister for Youth Affairs Muhammad Al-Jabri.
According to the decree, Minister of Commerce and Industry Khalid Al-Rawdan will serve as acting State Minister for Youth Affairs while Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Nasser Al-Muhammad will be the acting Minister of Information; in addition to their current duties. Earlier, the Ministry of Interior’s electoral commission began Monday receiving people wishing to run for the Dec 5 parliamentary elections, a process that would continue for 10 consecutive days.
This year candidacy application process is different due to the coronavirus pandemic. The MoI set up a school, rather than its own headquarters, to receive candidates in order to ensure physical distancing as well as providing necessary health materials, like gloves and masks. The doors of the electoral commission is open daily from 7:30 am until 1:30 pm, and candidates should introduce original nationality, Civil ID and two personal photos.
The applicant should fill in the application form and pay KD 50 (around $165) through the electronic K-NET and gets a receipt. The applicant will then head to a designated police station in his/her constituency to confirm his candidacy. His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, during a visit to the electoral commission in district of Al-Shuwaikh Sunday, called on citizens registering nomination for upcoming elections to abide by precautions against the novel coronavirus.
The prime minister emphasized necessity of enforcing all necessary health measures during registration, affirming that the government doubled efforts to ensure safety of the employees and citizens registering their names as candidates for the forthcoming parliamentary polls. Government Spokesman Tareq Al-Mezrem said that a decree was issued on Monday accepting the resignation of Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Mohammad Al-Jabri.
In a tweet on his Twitter account, Al-Mezrem added that Minister of Trade and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan was assigned as Acting Minister of State for Youth Affairs, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah was assigned as Acting Minister of Information.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies