Kuwait Times, Monday, Aug 22, 2022 | Muharram 22, 1444
Eligible voters jump by 40% to reach 796,000
The interior ministry published the names of all eligible voters
at police stations to allow Kuwaiti citizens to ensure they are listed for the
National Assembly elections. Petitions are accepted and dealt with within 24
hours, the ministry said. Based on the lists, there are 796,000 eligible voters
in Kuwait, a massive 40 percent jump from the previous polls on Dec 5, 2020,
when there were just 568,000 voters. The big increase is attributed to the
addition of many new residential areas to the existing constituencies, which
were not added in the 2020 polls. According to the lists, there are 408,000
female voters and 388,000 male voters.
Former opposition MP Bader Al-Dahoum, whose election was revoked by the
constitutional court last year, said he has challenged a decision by authorities
not to include his name among eligible voters. He has also filed a lawsuit at
the court for the same reason. Under Kuwaiti law, Dahoum will not be able to run
in the polls if his name is not included in the voters’ lists. He was to hold a
press conference on Sunday night.
Meanwhile, opposition candidates and former MPs welcomed on Sunday the
announcement by former three-time National Assembly speaker and opposition
leader Ahmad Al-Saadoun to run in the forthcoming general polls and immediately
called for electing him as next house speaker. The media committee of the
veteran politician announced that the 87-year-old Saadoun will run in the
Assembly elections, expected to be held next month, after the parliament was
dissolved over political disputes.
Several members of the dissolved house and prominent election candidates
immediately welcomed Saadoun’s announcement and said they will support him as
speaker for the next house if they are elected. HH the Crown Prince Sheikh
Mishal A-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said in June that the government will not
interfere in the polls and the election of the Assembly speaker, a major boost
for the opposition candidate.
Leader of the nationalist Popular Action Movement, former MP Musallam Al-Barrak,
said the bloc’s candidates who win seats in the Assembly will elect Saadoun as
speaker. Saadoun’s announcement is the biggest news so far in the current
election campaign. He had served as speaker in 1985, 1992 and 1996, but lost in
1999 when the government backed the late Jassem Al-Khorafi for the post.