Thursday , September 28 2023

‘Kuwaitis edgy on present state’; 40 quit race, tally stands at 207

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KUWAIT CITY, June 1: The period for the 2023 parliamentary election candidates to withdraw their candidates has ended, during which a total of 40 candidates opted out of the electoral race. The total number of candidates in the election slated for June 6 now stands at 207. Meanwhile, Fourth Constituency candidate Muhammad Al-Fajji said in a meeting he organized Wednesday evening that citizens are more worried about their present than their future. Addressing his Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, he pointed out the corrupt are active in committing crimes and they have been rewarded with public tenders, instead of being punished. He said even His Highness the Crown Prince has been dragged into a dispute, indicating everyone is aware about the dispute between HH the Crown Prince and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. He added the submission of decrees only to withdraw them later is a sign of dispute. He affirmed his loyalty to the nation and the ruling family, asserting that “more power means more the accountability. Kuwait deserves better management.

The leadership is in charge of public money and decision-making.” Former MP and Second Constituency candidate Hamad Saif Al-Harshani has stressed the need for cooperation with the government in the interest of citizens, not for personal interests. He urged the voters to keep their distance from crises-making candidates, recalling the previous period which witnessed a lot of disputes that negatively affected achievements. He affirmed that he is keen on fulfilling his commitments, asking the voters to be wary of candidates who make promises without accomplishments. Fifth Constituency candidate Muhammad Metleq Al-Otaibi tackled the educational issue in his campaign. He said the Kuwaiti students in public schools are at a disadvantage in applying for overseas scholarship, because their final exams end 25 days after those enrolled in international schools. He added that in many instances, the Ministry of Education forced the students to transfer to schools away from their homes under the pretext that their current schools will be demolished for safety reasons; only to find out later that these schools are rented to the private sector and reopened as international schools.

He then vowed to prioritize this issue and other important matters if he wins in the election. He also urged the next Council of Ministers to solve issues concerning the citizens; otherwise, it should resign. Former MP and Fourth Constituency candidate Marzouq Al-Khalifa disclosed that his time in jail gave him a chance to witness bad conditions and violations against human rights. If he wins in the election, he will prioritize this issue and push for improving the citizens’ standard of living.

He affirmed support for women’s rights, pointing out that he submitted a proposal to reduce the age condition for Kuwaiti housewives to receive social allowance from 55 to 45 years old. He said the disputes between the government and Parliament hindered the implementation of his proposal. He intends to resubmit this proposal, along with other bills like increasing the social allowance for Kuwaiti housewives from KD550 to KD700 per month. He warned that the next government will face strong opposition in case it adopts the same attitude as its predecessors. Former MP and First Constituency candidate Osama Al- Zaid conveyed a message to those eyeing the Prime Minister, National Assembly Speaker and Crown Prince positions; stressing the people will not allow anyone to use them as tools to occupy such vital posts. He added the people of Kuwait want solutions to their problems, instead of being used as tools for achieving personal goals .

Fifth Constituency candidate Fajd Falah bin Jame’e emphasized the need to reform the National Assembly by restructuring the constituencies to ensure justice for all. He pointed out that Kuwait consists of six governorates and it is unfair that four governorates have 20 MPs, while two governorates have 30 MPs. He called for the cancellation of the one-man onevote system as it resulted in many disputes among members of one family, while encouraging tribalism and sectarianism. He argued such a system divided the nation and ripped the national fabric. He also unveiled his plan to push for amendment of the law on disqualifying candidates convicted of offending crimes to be in line with the Constitution, particularly Article Two which states the Islamic Sharia is the main source of legislation. He said the law prevents honest and dedicated citizens from exercising their suffrage rights.

He intends to support bills on granting more freedoms to citizens, as long as they are in line with the Islamic Law and Kuwaiti customs and traditions. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice in coordination with other government departments has formed 759 electoral commissions for the forthcoming National Assembly elections, says Kuwait News Agency , KUNA .

These commissions will be stationed at 118 schools throughout Kuwait, said Hashem Al-Gallaf, the acting undersecretary in a statement on Thursday. Up to 1,157 judges and prosecution attorneys would partake in the process, he said, adding that number of the electoral committees in the first constituency would be 93, in the second constituency 91, in the third 135, in the fourth 201 and in the fifth 239. Al-Gallaf praised the noticeable efforts exerted by the government departments namely the ministries of interior and education in addition to the municipality for participating in the preparations for the elections. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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