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MENAFN - Arab Times - 21/11/2012

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(MENAFN - Arab Times) The Higher National Commission for Elections has endorsed 'hand counting' of votes during the upcoming parliamentary elections "because that has more credibility with Kuwaiti citizens and we will not resort to modern machines", Chairman of the Commission Ahmed Al-Ajeel stressed during a press conference Monday.

Al-Ajeel added the commission has formed a committee that is working around-the-clock at the Kuwait Institute for Judicial Studies building to receive election complaints.

He also disclosed the names of 37 candidates who have been removed from the list of candidates because they do not meet the conditions while 49 people have withdrawn their candidacy. The number of candidates left in the field so far is 310.

Disqualification
He also made it clear that if a candidate has a court case pending it would not mean his/her disqualification from the contest. "Those who are not eligible are people with disrepute or bad conduct which warrant a disqualification," he added.

Article (2) of the Election Law No. 35/1962 stipulates that anyone charged with criminal punishment or a crime that undermines his/her reputation or honesty shall be stopped from taking part in elections.
Meanwhile, the candidates whose names were removed from the list have started submitting their challenges to the Fast-Track Administrative Court against the decision.

Among the 37 disqualified candidates who have so far submitted their challenges to the court include Saleh Ashour, Essam Al-Dabous, Nabil Al-Fadel, Askar Al-Anazi, Saadoun Al-Otaibi, Mohammed Al-Baloushi, Saleh Al-Musailim, Sultan Al-Shimiri, KhalidAl-Shlaimi, Khalid Al-Hazza, Abdul-Hameed Dashti and Yousef Al-Zalzalah.

On a related issue, former MP and the First Constituency candidate Dr Masouma Al-Mubarak has stated that the decision of disqualifying a number of candidates based on disrepute or bad conduct alone is very dangerous and lacks objectivity.

Nominations
She said if this decision takes effect it will affect many candidates "either the current ones or those who file their nominations in the future as well former lawmakers, including members of the so-called the majority bloc who are currently boycotting the elections."

Meanwhile, the Criminal Court Monday postponed to Nov 26, 2012 to look into the case of the former MPs accused of storming into the National Assembly on Nov 16, 2011 after a big opposition rally at the Erada Square. About 68 citizens including nine former MPs were involved in the incident.

The Court of Appeal also postponed to Dec 16, 2012 the libel case filed by Minister of Development and Planning against former MP Musallam Al-Barrak.

In Monday's court hearing Al-Barrak stressed he did not insult the minister "but I explained that there is spoiled meat that they want to feed the people."

Al-Barrak also said former MPs Mubarak Al-Walan and Aseel Al-Awadhi should be summoned in addition to the Chairman of Office of the Parliamentary Health Committee as eyewitnesses in the case.
In another development, the Administrative Court Monday adjourned till Nov 26, 2012 a lawsuit which has been filed by lawyer Riyadh Al-Sanei against the decree of 'one man one vote' and his demand to cancel the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The government has demanded the case be cancelled saying it has the legal right to enforce the decree.

 






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