KUWAIT: Four women were among 61 new candidates who filed nomination papers yesterday for the national election in the second day of registration, raising the total number of hopefuls to 132. Prominent among yesterday’s candidates was former MP Safa Al-Hashem, the only female member in the dissolved Assembly, who resigned along with four other MPs in protest against the unfavorable situation in the Assembly. Others include; Abeer Jumaa, Farah Sadiq and Ghadeer Aseeri.
Hashem blamed the government of failing to handle the economic issue, saying that the budget deficit is unreal and the government had all the means to maintain the welfare services in the country. She said that voters should be convinced to take part in the election in order to make the change, adding that the previous assembly created problems. Hashem’s brother, Salah, made an interesting move by filing his nominations in the second constituency while she will contest in the third. MP Mousa said he believes that 30 percent to 40 percent of the Assembly members will be changed.
Yesterday’s candidates included eight members from the dissolved house and four former lawmakers including two figures from the opposition who decided to take part. Registration of candidates will end on October 28 after which withdrawals door will remain open until four days before the November 26 general polls.
Prominent among new candidates were Saleh Ashour, Khalil Al-Saleh, Askar Al-Enezi, Ali Al-Khamees, Majed Mousa, Hamdan Al-Azemi, Kamel Al-Awadhi and Hamad Al-Harashani – all were members in the dissolved Assembly. Former opposition MPs Ali Al-Deqbasi and Adel Al-Damkhi, both key figures in the opposition groups who decided to end the four-year boycott of the election. The two urged other opposition figures to return to help rescue the country from corruption.
Damkhi said that it was time for the all the opposition to end their boycott and contest the election in order to put an end to deteriorating political and legislative situation. Deqbasi, who last month resigned from the nationalist Popular Action Movement in order to contest the election, also made a passionate call for the opposition. He said the attacks against opposition figures at present is aimed at preventing them from contesting the polls and thus keep them away from the National Assembly.
Deqbasi strongly defended the decision of the opposition to boycott the election in 2012 in protest against the government’s unilateral amendment of the voting system. He said that if the time comes again, he would take the same move. Deqbasi lashed out at the existing voting and voter distribution systems, saying they are unfair and do not achieve justice among citizens. The former lawmaker also vowed to continue to cooperate and coordinate with the opposition.
A large number of former opposition MPs are expected to take a decision over the weekend on whether to fight the election or not amid strong indications that the majority of them are inclined to contest the polls.
By B Izzak