Focus will be on development, Kuwait candidates say

December 26, 2011
By

Ten more people joined the group of candidates in the Kuwaiti parliamentary elections on the third day of the registration process, taking up the total number to 166.

However, none of the new hopefuls was a woman, keeping the number of women seeking seats in the 50-member parliament to eight.

Candidates have until December 30 to sign up for the polls to be held on February 2.

Around 400,000 people, out of a native population of 1.1 million, are eligible to cast ballots in the elections.

Most of the candidates have been promoting a message of national unity and the amendment of the constitution to usher in more freedoms.

Kuwait should now move from the phase of crises to the phase of development and the government should be strict in applying the law during the election campaigning, particularly against buying votes, the candidates said.

As the competition heats up, Mohammad Munawar, a lawyer, warned against resorting to rumours to harm a candidate’s reputation.

Targeting the character of a candidate through Twitter for instance could result in a five-year court sentence, he said, Al Anba daily reported on Saturday.

Former lawmaker Mislim Al Barak hailed the decision to allow the Kuwait Transparency Association to monitor the elections as a positive step.

However, he urged the extension of invitations to international organisations to monitor the elections to boost transparency.

“Such a move will reinforce Kuwait’s reputation, especially that the elections will be a definite moment in the history of our country,” he said. “There is also a need to combat vigorously tendencies to influence voters by buying their votes,” he said, quoted by the daily.

Several tribes, building on a tradition to choose their candidates for the elections through a private polling process, will be holding “meetings” on Saturday and Tuesday for the selection.

The preliminary polling is banned under Kuwait’s elections laws.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/kuwait/focus-will-be-on-development-kuwait-candidates-say-1.956277

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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