Al-Wasmi wins landslide in 5th Constituency vote
KUWAIT CITY, May 22: Obaid Al-Wasmi on Saturday scored a landslide victory in the supplementary National Assembly elections in the Fifth Constituency with 43,810 votes. Ajmi Falah came in second with 1,331 votes; followed by Hammad Menahi Al-Dousari with 1,248 votes; Abdullah Omar Al-Otaibi with 393 votes and Talal Fahad Al-Dabbous with 193 votes. Around 28 percent of 165,222 voters registered in the constituency— 84,777 men and 81,445 women — went out to vote for the candidate who will fill up the seat vacated by former MP Bader Al-Dahoum as per the verdict of the Constitutional Court which nullified his parliamentary membership on March 14, 2021. Fifteen candidates, including one woman, contested the supplementary election; but election analysts already expected Al-Wasmi’s win. Earlier, Al-Dahoum disclosed that Al-Wasmi was his guest in his diwaniya in Jaber Al-Ali until the announcement of the results of the election.
He said he invited 30 MPs, whom he described as constantly adopting certain positions, to his diwaniya in order to send a clear message to the executive authority regarding the expected victory of Al-Wasmi. A total of 165 main and secondary polling centers were allocated, one of which was for citizens infected with coronavirus. Ambulance and civil defense vehicles were on standby near the polling centers in case of any emergency. Minister of Justice and Minister of State for Nazaha Enhancement Abdullah Al-Rumi conducted a field tour to make sure the electoral process runs smoothly, while Minister of Health Dr Basel Al-Sabah visited the polling center for voters with coronavirus to closely monitor the implementation of health regulations.
Health authorities reiterated the need to comply with health regulations like wearing facemask and gloves and social distancing during the election. The heads of polling centers are authorized to ask voters to take off the facemask to verify their identity. Also, voters were not allowed to take their mobile phones while voting as per the regulations of the General Elections Department. Despite this, four citizens were arrested and their mobile phones were confiscated as a prelude to referral to the Public Prosecution for taking photos of their ballots during the election. Article 44 of the Elections Law states that whoever takes a photo of the ballot during election will be imprisoned for five years and fined KD2,000 to KD5,000 or any of these two penalties. Meanwhile, MPs Adnan Abdulsamad, Ahmed Al-Hamad, Khalil Al-Saleh, Mubarak Al- Hajraf and Al-SaifiMubarak Al-Saifisubmitted a bill on protecting the civil rights of Bedouns. The bill stipulates that individuals registered in the Central System for Remedying the Status of Illegal Residents (CSRSIR), Supreme Committee for Citizenship at the Cabinet and Al-Shaheen Office are called ‘illegal residents’ in a systematic manner, including their descendants as long as they live permanently in Kuwait.
These ‘illegal residents’ will be granted civil identification cards valid for five years, renewable. Following are the rights of ‘illegal residents’ who hold such cards:
■ Obtain permanent residency;
■ Access to free education and health care;
■ Allowances for the handicapped;
■ Obtain birth and death certificates;
■ Obtain marriage, divorce, heritage and other documents related to personal status;
■ Obtain all types of driving licenses;
■ Obtain passports;
■ Travel and return to Kuwait any time;
■ Retirement with indemnity and pension like citizens working in the public and private sectors as per the relevant laws;
■ Priority in appointments next to citizens;
■ Own properties either individually or in partnership with others;
■ Resort to Kuwaiti courts.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff