Dozens Disqualified from Elections in Kuwait
Approximately 37 candidates were barred from running in Parliamentary elections next month in Kuwait, many charged with failing to enjoy a “good reputation” in the country. Among the disqualified candidates are seven former Parliamentarians who were accused by the opposition of accepting millions of dollars in bribes last year. The decision by Kuwait’s national high commission for the elections was issued on Sunday as opposition groups staged a rally in support of a general election boycott. Former Speaker of the Parliament Jassem Al-Khorafi said that the boycott ”would not affect the elections and was no reason for concern since this is a democracy.” Elsewhere in Kuwait, more than 100 academics appealed to Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to immediately grant citizenship for tens of thousands of stateless Bidoun people who the government admits meet all official citizenship requirements.
In Bahrain, the government announced that it will pursue legal action against Shi’a religious leaders for mixing “anti-government” political messages with religious sermons. Bahrain’s Assistant Undersecretary of Legal Affairs at the Interior Ministry, Brigadier Mohammed Buhamood, said that ”while freedom of religion is respected in Bahrain, it is not an iron curtain behind which politically explosive activities can be used to incite violence.” The government rejected several requests to organize pro-Gaza marches over the weekend in light of the continued ban on all demonstrations in the country.