Kuwait's election authorities on Tuesday barred 47 candidates from contesting parliamentary polls later this month for being convicted in courts or not fulfilling nomination requirements, candidates said.
Those barred include former opposition MPs Bader al-Dahum and Safa al-Hashem, as well as controversial Shiite ex-MP Abdulhameed Dashti who has been sentenced in absentia to jail for insulting fellow Gulf States Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
The Kuwaiti ruler dissolved parliament last month because of a crisis between MPs and the government over hiking petrol prices, and set November 26 for an election.
Dahum wrote on Twitter that he was informed by the election authority that he had been barred from standing but not told why.
He said he will mount a legal challenge to the decision.
Hashem also tweeted that she had been told she could not stand for office and that she will challenge the decision.
Dashti has been living outside Kuwait for several months and won a court order last week allowing his son to submit nomination papers on his behalf.
Also barred was Sheikh Malek Humoud Al-Sabah, a member of the ruling family who announced his candidacy in a rare move in the oil-rich Gulf state where royals normally stay away from elections.
There has been no comment from either Dashti or Sheikh Malek on their exclusion.
Kuwaiti courts can overturn the decision of the authorities and allow candidates to run.
Although no official details were given on the decision, local media websites reported that 31 candidates were banned because of court verdicts and the remaining 16 for not completing procedures.
A total of 454 candidates, including 15 women, had registered to stand for election to the 50-seat parliament.
The election sees the return of major opposition groups and individuals ending a four-year boycott in protest against the government for amending the voting the system.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team