Kuwait’s Court of Appeals has rejected a ruling by a lower court that allowed former lawmaker Abdul Hamid Dashti to run in the parliamentary elections later this month. The court on Tuesday said the candidate must be physically present to submit his application and that registration to contest in the elections could not be done by proxy.
Last month, the Administrative Court allowed Dashti to file his application to run for a parliamentary seat by proxy. The court issued its ruling after the elections department turned down the application presented by the candidate’s son Talal, that proxy filing was not allowed and that it accepted papers only from the candidates themselves.
However, the government challenged the decision and took the case to the Court of Appeals. Dashti has been out of Kuwait since March ostensibly to receive medical treatment abroad.
The controversial lawmaker had been condemned to prison for insulting Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the judiciary in Kuwait. Under Kuwait’s laws, individuals convicted of hostile act against a foreign country that may expose Kuwait to war or the severance of diplomatic relations, are put on trial and may be sent to jail.
The ruling was pronounced in absentia as the controversial lawmaker, facing several trials, had left Kuwait months ago after he took leave of absence for eight weeks.
Dashti was in July and September sentenced to a total of 25 years after he faced a series of cases for using social media and the media to attack Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Reacting to the news that the Court of Appeals barred him from running, Dashti tweeted that he would on Wednesday take the case to the Cassation Court, the country’s highest court.
He said that the legal battle was continuing. “Just like I respected the decision by the court to register me in the elections, I also respect the decision by the court today, but we will go on with the case,” he said.
The Court of Appeals decision on the other 13 challenges by candidates who had been barred from running is scheduled for Sunday. The elections of the 50 members of the new parliament will be held on November 26.
Source: Gulf News