Kuwait warns against campaigning for Egypt’s candidates

May 13, 2012

Kuwait has pledged a zero-tolerance policy towards organising campaigns or using mosques to promote candidates in Egypt’s presidential elections.

As the May 24 date for the first round of the historic elections inexorably approaches, several Egyptians living in Kuwait have used mosques to encourage their fellow citizens to vote for Mohammad Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate.

However, Kuwait said that foreigners did not have the right to organise political rallies or to campaign for candidates and urged all expatriates to comply with the law.

On Friday, five Egyptians, three adults and two young men, were briefly detained for distributing leaflets calling for casting ballots in favour of Morsy.

The police seized more than 1,000 brochures during the operation to break up a rally organised after the Friday prayers at a mosque in Kuwait City, local Arabic daily Al Anba reported.

The five Egyptians said that they wanted the Muslim Brotherhood to win the presidential elections, the first to be held former president Hosni Mubarak ceded power to the military in February 2011.

The police made them sign a pledge to refrain from engaging in campaigns to promote candidates or engaging in unlicenced political activism before allowing them to go home, the daily said.

According to security sources that the paper did not name, Shaikh Ahamd Al Humood, the interior minister, has told the interior ministry to ensure that mosques are not used to campaign for any of the candidates vying for the presidency in Egypt.

Egyptian imams preaching in Kuwaiti mosques have also been told to be neutral towards the elections and to avoid using their sermons to promote any of the candidates.

Presidential elections will be held in Egypt on May 23 and May 24, and the run-off between the two top candidates, if necessary, will be on June 16-17. The elections for Egypt’s one million expatriates registered to vote, mainly in the Gulf states, Europe and North America, began this weekend.




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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