- Kuwait Times Extra
By A Saleh, Staff Writer
KUWAIT: A local company hired by candidates to put up billboards along highways and in town squares is suing the government following a decision that all parliament election related advertisements be removed from public places across the country. According to sources with knowledge of the case, the company is demanding “over KD1 million” in damages for financial losses resulting from having to repay candidates “for breach of contract”.
“The company believes that the government’s decision is unjustified and lacks legal basis,” the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity said. They added that the company “is confident” about its chances to win the case. In other news related to the upcoming elections, the National Democratic Alliance and the Kuwait Democratic Forum have reportedly decided to meet in order to discuss “an offer made by the government to take part in the next cabinet,” said sources close to the two liberal groups.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the sources mentioned “early talks” happening between the government and members from both groups “focusing on a clear invitation to take part in the next cabinet’s formation.” “The government wants the two groups to nominate members to the cabinet, and not candidates close to them,” the sources added.
The ‘Forum’ and ‘Alliance’ are set to discuss whether to boycott the cabinet just as they had boycotted the parliamentary elections, or make a distinction between the two issues “since boycotting the elections was due to the emergency decree” that altered the voting mechanism. In this regard, the sources indicated that there are members in both groups who believe that taking part in the cabinet would implicate “clear conflict in positions.”
Meanwhile, sources close to the opposition indicated yesterday that the groups fear an “unexpected surge in voting” in the fourth constituency despite the fact that they were counting highly on convincing the electorate to boycott the December 1 election. The concerns arose after “groups assigned to carry out surveys across the five constituencies found that the participation percentage at the fourth constituency could reach 45 percent as opposed to the earlier expectation of 25 percent,” the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.
Separately, fourth constituency candidate Mu’ayad Al-Khalaf released a statement calling the government to write-off the interest component of bank loans taken by Kuwaiti citizens that he said “are threatening the stability of Kuwaiti families”. Indicating that Kuwaitis have no problem repaying the loans “but are unable to keep up with the rapidly increasing interests,” Al-Khalaf proposed a solution to the problem by advocating “a decision by the Central Bank to suspend the 0.5 percent of annual profits they collect from local banks until all loan interests are written off.”
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