KUWAIT: Interior Minister Sheikh Thamer Al-Sabah (center) visits the diwaniya of MP Mohammad Al-Mutair (second right) yesterday. Also present are MP Bader Al-Dahoum (second left) and other opposition MPs.

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Opposition MPs yesterday cancelled a planned gathering in support of leading opposition lawmaker Bader Al-Dahoum – whose National Assembly membership is on the line awaiting a court ruling on March 3 – after a visit by the interior minister. Dahoum is facing three challenges in the constitutional court against his election victory in the Dec 5 parliamentary polls, all demanding that the court, whose rulings are final, to nullify his win.

A large number of opposition MPs and activists had decided to stage a sit-in outside Dahoum’s home tomorrow ahead of the court’s ruling to declare their total support to him. However, Interior Minister Sheikh Thamer Al-Sabah yesterday visited the diwaniya of MP Mohammad Al-Mutair and discussed with a number of lawmakers the emergency health conditions due to the coronavirus pandemic, and as a result the lawmakers called off the gathering.

Mutair said on Twitter that following the meeting with the interior minister and due to the prevailing health conditions, the gathering will not be held. Instead a press conference will be held that will be broadcast on social networks.

A special interior ministry commission had disqualified Dahoum from contesting the Assembly election, so he appealed the decision in court. The lower court supported the decision, but it was overturned by the appeals court and later upheld by the court of cassation, whose rulings are final.

But three petitions challenging Dahoum’s election were filed at the constitutional court. One of the petitions claims that Dahoum is barred for life from contesting elections because he was convicted for taking part in storming the National Assembly building during an opposition protest in Nov 2011.

Top constitutional experts said the case is very sensitive, especially after the court of cassation had already granted Dahoum full approval to contest the election. The constitutional court in Kuwait reviews decisions to ensure they are in line with the constitution. Regular courts cannot tackle such issues.

The court must first decide to accept or reject to handle the case. Three legal experts – Mohammad Al-Fili, Hussein Al-Abdullah and Fawaz Al-Jadaei – said they believe the court might refuse to take the case.