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New Vote-buying Network Busted

The National Assembly.

The interior ministry said on Saturday it has busted a network of two people involved in vote-buying activities in favor of three candidates running in the June 6 National Assembly elections. The ministry added in a statement that security men seized cash and lists of names of voters. The two suspects admitted they were buying votes for three candidates in the first, second and fourth constituencies.

The statement said the ministry will refer the two suspects to the public prosecution for further investigations. Last week, the ministry arrested 10 citizens and expats suspected of buying votes for candidates. The public prosecution has freed three suspects on bail but extended the detention of the remaining seven suspects.
With just two days remaining for Tuesday’s elections, candidates continued to focus on the reasons behind the country’s non-stop political disputes and a lack of stability that has stalled development. Former MP and ex-justice minister Hussein Al-Huraiti, running from the first constituency, asked why Kuwait has been marred by political problems in the past several years, although “we have a constitution and enjoy a huge financial windfall”.

“We have a problem. There is unemployment in the country and our projects are always late. Education is backward and we have a major housing problem,” Huraiti said. “We have huge resources but neighboring Gulf states are way ahead of us.” Candidate Thamer Al-Enezi said Kuwait is passing through a crucial period and only Kuwaiti voters can resolve the dilemma by voting for the best candidates.

Former MP Marzouq Al-Hubaini attributed the problems to a lack of political stability. He said for example in the past four years, eight governments have changed, adding the normal timespan for these governments should have lasted 32 years. Also, in less than two-and-a-half years, three National Assemblies have been either dissolved or scrapped by court, while their normal tenure should have been 12 years.

Alia Al-Khaled, a member of the scrapped 2022 Assembly, said Kuwait is facing one of the “biggest and most serious financial and economic problems”, adding the scenario of a sharp drop in oil prices should not be ruled out. She added the government is risking the future of the country by continuing to depend on a single source of income, which is oil.

Source : Kuwait Times