State departments urged to help make elections ‘a success’

KUWAIT: The Cabinet yesterday urged all government bodies to work on facilitating the success of the upcoming parliamentary election process, starting with the registration of candidates until polling day on Nov 26. The Cabinet also stressed the importance of strict law enforcement.

In this regard, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor stressed its strong intentions to monitor the spending of charity funds during the elections. Charities also warned against using charity funds as political money to make electoral gains during candidates’ campaigns. They said such acts would be deemed as severe violations that would result in closing down any involved charity.

Similarly, the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs instructed imams and preachers to avoid using mosques for electoral purposes or show bias towards certain individuals or blocs. The ministry added violators will be severely penalized and would be immediately suspended. The ministry also explained that it would prepare special sermons urging voters to vote for the best candidates, avoid tribalism and sectarianism and enhance the spirit of national solidarity and obedience to the ruler. The ministry will not allow any sermons or lessons without prior permission, in addition to banning all illegal donations.

In the same concern, and after several potential candidates started taking over certain sites to pitch their electoral campaign headquarters even before the candidacy application date was announced, head of the Capital municipality inspection team Tareq Al-Qattan said all ads and signs reading ‘booked’, along with tents or shacks in any area would be immediately removed without prior notice. Qattan said many such violations had been already removed, adding that campaign sites had to be booked through the municipality.

Legally speaking, the head of the fatwa and legislation department Chancellor Salah Al-Masaad confirmed that the procedures followed by the government on dissolving the parliament were sound and conformed to article 107 of the constitution. “According to the constitution, HH the Amir is the one responsible for deciding on the reasons and justification of dissolving the Assembly because this is part of his authorities,” he said.

Secretaries
Meanwhile, National Assembly Secretary General Allam Al-Kandari stressed the secretariat general’s keenness on settling all financial and administrative matters resulting from dissolving the parliament according to standard rules and regulations. Kandari added that the secretariat general had received many inquiries about former MPs’ secretaries and explained that they will all have to resolve their statuses with the secretariat after returning to their original jobs by Thursday (tomorrow) at most. Kandari said that certain procedures had been taken to hand over former MPs’ vehicles and offices to the secretariat general, adding that if an MP wishes to keep the vehicle, he would have to pay the cost of its lease himself.

Restructuring plan
Head of the state’s restructuring plan committee at the Municipal Council Ali Al-Moussa said that the council has strong intentions to approve Kuwait’s restructuring plan because the coming period is a critical one in terms of regional economic situations and their impact on Kuwait. Moussa added that the restructuring plan acts as a roadmap for Kuwait.

One-vote law
Manager of the membership and proclaiming of cooperative societies and unions affairs department at the ministry of social affairs and labor Hamad Al-Mutairi said the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) had closed all cases filed against the one-vote co-op electoral system and that the last such case filed by Adailiya Co-op was won by the ministry. Mutairi added that Adailiya Co-op will be the last to use the one-vote co-op electoral system and that MSAL would start receiving candidates’ applications on Nov 3 for 10 working days before holding the elections on Dec 9 to elect nine board members according to the one-vote system.

By A Saleh and Meshaal Al-Enezi

This article was published on 18/10/2016