Kuwaiti lawyer loses case to cancel election

Constitutional Court rejects claim cabinet can set poll date with no elected member
A general view shows the opening session of Kuwaits newly elected parliament in Kuwait City on December 16, 2012. The new parliament, almost entirely dominated by pro-government MPs, was elected on December 1 amid a massive boycott by the opposition in protest at the governments amendment of Kuwaits electoral law. (AFP/Getty Images)
By Courtney Trenwith
Wed 24 Jul 2013 01:52 PM

The Kuwaiti Constitutional Court has rejected a petition calling for Saturday’s snap election to be declared illegal and cancelled.

The petition, lodged by lawyer Adel Abdulhadi, claims the cabinet did not have the power to set a new poll date – July 27 – because under Kuwaiti law it must have an elected representative from the National Assembly to make decisions.

The assembly was sacked last month after the Constitutional Court ruled the December 2012 election was null and void, leaving only government members appointed by the prime minister.

On Tuesday, the court ruled that Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Thekra Al Rasheedi fulfilled the constitutional requirement for an elected member to be in the cabinet, despite the fact she was not a member following the June 16 decision to nullify the 2012 election.

A second petition also has been filed demanding the election be postponed until after September 18, when the Constitutional Court is expected to provide legal reasoning for its decision to sack the assembly. The petition is yet to be heard.

The July 27 election would be the country’s fifth in as many years.

The 2009 assembly was first dissolved in December 2011 following street protests led by the opposition.

A new election was held in February the following year but nullified on June 20, 2012, meaning the 2009 assembly was reinstated, only to be nullified again less than four months later.

The Constitutional Court also last month upheld a change that moves the country to a one-vote system, which is controversial among opposition supporters who claim it goes against them.

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