Ban on Kuwait former lawmaker’s candidacy sparks controversy

January 12, 2012

An ad-hoc committee screening the applications of Kuwaiti candidates for next month’s parliamentary elections has ruled out former lawmaker Faisal Al Mislim from the race.

The committee made the decision late on Wednesday after a local court upheld an earlier verdict against the ex-PM in a case brought against him by a bank for displaying a private cheque at a parliament session.

The bank claimed that Al Mislim broke secrecy rules by obtaining the private cheque and then showing it off.

However, Al Mislim’s supporters have contested the bank’s move as a condemnable action against the constitutional rights of a lawmaker.

Under Kuwait’s rules, a candidate found guilty by a court, is barred from running.

On Wednesday evening, 22 former lawmakers and candidates in next month’s elections issued a statement condemning the barring of Al Mislim.

“The court ruling against Al Mislim amounts to hijacking Articles 108 and 110 of the Constitution,” the petitioners said. “Both articles allow lawmakers to express their views and opinions freely in the parliament and its committees. These are dangerous developments and everybody should assume their responsibilities,” they said.

Options following the statement included pulling out of the elections or taking part in the polls and filing a motion to grill the interior minister, they said.

The committee has already barred 14 candidates from taking part in the elections, either for having court rulings against them or for not having “impeccable reputations.”

Around 400,000 Kuwaitis are scheduled to cast their ballots for the 50-seat parliament on February 2.



About the author

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

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