Up to 93 candidates submitted Monday their applications for the first parliamentary elections in Kuwait after the new crown prince, Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Haber Al-Sabah took the oath of office early this month.
The candidates include 85 males and eight females.
The Ministry of Interior said its electoral commission will begin Monday receiving people wishing to run for the Dec. 5 elections.
Kuwait’s National Assembly includes 50 deputies distributed on 15 electoral districts elected by voters based on the one man one vote concept.
According to the 1962 law, candidates running for elections must not be convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude.
Constitutional expert Dr. Mohammed Al-Fili told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Constitution demands that a candidate possesses the same conditions imposed on voters.
“The electoral law deprives persons convicted of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude from voting, therefore, the same conditions were imposed on voters,” the expert said.
Regarding the special amnesty enjoyed by some deputies who had settled their status and returned to the country, Fili said the amnesty does not wipe out the crime that remains an obstacle to enjoying political rights.
He noted that a crime still accounts for 10 years after the judicial judgment or 15 years by law.
By law, a Kuwaiti citizen who has been convicted of a felony or crime of “moral turpitude” may not register to vote until having been rehabilitated.
On Monday, the Interior Ministry said this year’s candidacy application process is different due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ministry set up a school, rather than its headquarters, to receive candidates in order to ensure physical distancing as well as providing necessary health materials, like gloves and masks.
The doors of the commission are open daily from 7:30 am until 1.30 pm, and candidates should have their ID and two personal photos.
During a visit to the electoral commission in Al-Shuwaikh district on Monday, Prime Minister Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah called on citizens to abide by precautions against the COVID-19 during the voting process.