Constitutional Court rejects vote petition

Kuwait Times
Fecha de publicación: 
23 Jul 2013

The Constitutional Court yesterday rejected a petition demanding to halt the general election over suspicions that the Amiri decree calling for polls is unconstitutional. Accordingly, the election will be held as initially decided on July 27. The petition was filed by lawyer Adel Abdulhadi who has argued that the formation of the current Kuwait Cabinet violates conditions required under the constitution, an argument that was not accepted by the Administrative Court about two weeks ago.

But in its ruling, the Administrative Court said it was not competent to rule on the issue and its jurisdiction did not cover that sovereign issue. As a result, Abdulhadi directly took the issue to the Constitutional Court, whose rulings are final. Under Kuwaiti law, at least one member of the Cabinet must be an elected MP and in this Cabinet – Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Thekra Al-Rasheedi fulfilled this constitutional requirement.

But Rasheedi lost her membership after the Constitutional Court on June 16 nullified the election process and ordered the National Assembly dissolved. Abdulhadi insisted that as a result, the Cabinet has lost an important condition of fulfilling the constitutional requirements and accordingly it has become illegal and all decisions issued by the government are also illegal. The lawyer said that one of the most important decisions made by the government is approving the Amiri decree that set July 27 the date for election, insisting that the decree is unconstitutional and so is the election.

In a related development, the Public Prosecution has ordered the detention of three candidates over suspected involvement in vote-buying operations. The three candidates are well-known businessmen Saud Sahoud, former journalist Saud Al-Subaie and member of the scrapped Assembly Mishari Al-Husseini. All three men have denied the allegations.

The prosecution also detained a citizen, a retired lieutenant-colonel, for working to buy votes on behalf of one of the candidates. The prosecution has however released a large number of people on bail after they were arrested during police raids on hideouts.

Also, the Administrative Court set tomorrow to issue its verdict on a case filed by a lawyer demanding the disqualification of Sahoud over his vote-buying involvement. The Appeals Court however is scheduled to issue verdicts against at least six candidates who were disqualified by the Interior Ministry and approved by the Administrative Court. They challenged the rulings before the Appeals Court.

The election campaign, which has remained lackluster due to Ramadan and scorching heat, is nearing its end with just two days to go for candidates to wrap up their campaigns. Former MP Saleh Ashour, bidding for re-election from the First Constituency, yesterday called for forming a national salvation government to be capable of confronting and resolving the country’s problems.

He said such a government is needed to find fundamental solutions to the country’s problems which can no longer be faced through temporary solutions. The Interior Ministry meanwhile said it has mobilized 2,700 security men for the Election Day while the Justice Ministry said it has approved 105 schools where the polling will be held.

By B Izzak