Ousted Kuwaiti MPs vow to attend opening Assembly session


 Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi swiftly reacted by rejecting their claims, saying that rulings issued by the constitutional court cannot be negated except by a new verdict by the same court.

Last month, the constitutional court in a ruling scrapped the membership of Waalan and Ajmi and inducted Askar Al-Enezi and Saadoun Al-Oteibi as new MPs. The court, whose rulings cannot be challenged, based its verdict on the fact that there was a mathematical error in the calculation of votes obtained by candidates in the fourth and fifth constituencies in the May 17 general elections. Following a protest, the court re-calculated the votes and found that Enezi and Oteibi had in fact secured more votes than Waalan and Ajmi.

The ruling was criticized by some legal experts who said that mathematical errors even existed in the court ruling which later made other candidates to claim their right to Assembly seats. Waalan and Ajmi had already placed a petition to the constitutional court which set October 27 to look into it. The two claimed that the ruling had violated the law and should be revised.

Another candidate and former MP Mohammad Al-Khalifa also submitted another petition saying that based on the court’s new calculations, he is entitled to be a member in the Assembly. In their joint statement released yesterday, Waalan and Ajmi said that they consider themselves as legitimate MPs and accordingly vowed to attend the Assembly session when it reconvenes for the new term on October 21.

They based their claim on a legal error they said had been committed by a member of the court judges whom they claimed had issued statements on the case before the verdict was issued. "Such statements make the ruling null and void and accordingly we have the right to attend the Assembly as legitimate members of parliament," the statement said. But Khorafi said that the Assembly will not allow Waalan and Ajmi to attend the session because they are no longer MPs after the court scrapped their membership. He
said that only a new ruling by the same court will allow the two to attend as MPs.

Later, Waalan and Ajmi called on Khorafi to consult with the National Assembly constitutional advisors before issuing his verdict, saying that in the eye of the law, "we are still MPs". The event is unprecedented in Kuwait’s 46 years of parliamentary democracy and has already created a major legal controversy between those who say the court’s verdict is final and must be respected and others who insist that the verdict was illegal and should be revised.

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