KUWAIT CITY, Dec 27: National Assembly Speaker Ahmed Al-Saadoun has submitted a bill on amending National Assembly Law No. 42/2006 in order to restructure the constituencies. The bill is aimed at ensuring fair representation of the existing five constituencies and accurate application of Article 108 of the Constitution, which states a lawmaker represents the entire nation.
The bill stipulates replacing Article Two of the current law with the following: “Citizens wishing to run for elections must file their candidacies within 10 days from the day after the publication of the decree on the call for elections and none of the candidates are allowed to cancel their application under any circumstances.” The last clause aims to foil attempts to manipulate the election results. The bill also stipulates adding Article Two (bis) stating that every candidate in one constituency is given a number to participate in the lottery conducted by the Higher Elections Commission immediately after the deadline for filing candidacies.
The commission shall announce the names and numbers given to each candidate the day after the closure of the door for filing candidacies. The commission shall prepare the ballots, which will be in the form of a table divided into five columns, each column consisting the numbers given to the candidates in each constituency. No names will be mentioned in the ballot.
Article Two (bis A) is also added stating: “Each voter has the right to choose four candidates in any constituency provided he votes for at least one of the candidates in his own constituency. His vote is valid as well if he decides to choose four candidates in his own constituency. However, the ballot will be nullified in case the voter chooses all four candidates from other constituencies.
Article Two (bis B) states that the Higher Elections Commission shall announce the top 50 candidates. On the by-elections, the same procedures are adopted, which means the top required number of candidates are the winners. In case the top 50 consists of a higher number of candidates because some of them obtained the same number of votes, the Higher Election Commission will conduct a public lottery to choose the winner among them. Any candidate has the right to complain against the election results and request for recounting of votes to prove his claim or make sure the announced results are correct.
Meanwhile, constitutional expert Professor Ibrahim Al- Homoud commented on recent calls for suspending the Constitution and freezing the Assembly. He stressed the importance of remaining committed to the Constitution; in addition to having an efficient government subject to legislative oversight, and the implementation of effective legislative programs to maintain national stability and unity, and guarantee the sustainability of democracy and freedom and enjoyment of rights.
He asserted it is true that Kuwait is suffering from the deterioration of its roads and many problems related to public services and infrastructure; but all these should not lead to abandoning democracy. He affirmed that goals concerning construction and material services are easy to achieve, unlike democracy and freedom which require utmost dedication. He believes the path can be rectified only through a distinguished government, and if the people are given a chance to elect responsible and capable lawmakers. He said the best aspect of democracy is its capability for self correction and gaining more rights and freedom. He added the people of Kuwait must be proud of the existence of laws that protect their freedom, and guarantee the correct and fair implementation of such laws.
On the other hand, Sociology Professor Ali Al-Tarrah called for suspending the Constitution and revising positions in light of the regional and international circumstances. He thinks Kuwait is not in tune with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) strategies and he is afraid that the country hinders the implementation of these strategies. He underscored the need to adhere to the GCC body, especially since the international treaties are no longer effective. He argued that dependence on foreign powers is not guaranteed; citing as an example the case of Ukraine, which did not receive protection in its war against Russia. In another development, the parliamentary Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs Committee on Wednesday discussed the factors that led to deterioration of education with the representatives of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
Rapporteur of the committee MP Fahd Al-Masoud confirmed that a number of decisions were taken during the meeting; such as asking the National Center for Developing Education to provide the committee with the recent study on the position of education in Kuwait, copy of the draft prepared by the Higher Council of Education to review and discuss it, and for the senior officials to present their analysis of problems in the educational sector and their recommendations to address these problems. He disclosed the committee will meet again on Jan 11, 2024 to continue the discussions. The Real Estate and Housing Affairs Committee on Wednesday deliberated on the proposed amendment of the law on the establishment of Kuwait Credit Bank. Representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait Investment Authority and Kuwait Banks Union attended the meeting.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff
The post Al-Saadoun submits bill on constituency revamp first appeared on ARAB TIMES – KUWAIT NEWS.
Read also: Kuwait Mosafer