Foreign observers to monitor Kuwaiti parliamentary election

More than 300 candidates are contesting for 50 seats

KUWAIT CITY - About 30 international observers will for the first time be allowed to monitor Kuwait's parliamentary election on February 2, the head of a non-governmental organisation said on Monday.
Most of the observers will be Arabs from the Arab Network for Election Democracy but contacts are underway with some non-Arab organisations to send monitors, Salah al-Ghazali told a press conference.
The foreign monitors will assist 300 local volunteers who have been allowed to monitor the election, also for the first time in an official capacity, said the head of the Kuwaiti Transparency Society.
In previous elections, independent groups and organisations sent monitors to polling stations on their own without coordination with the government.
The foreign and local monitors will be allowed free access to polling stations and report any violations to the authorities, Ghazali said.
The Kuwaiti government last month asked the Kuwaiti Transparency Society and two other NGOs to monitor the parliamentary election before and during the casting of votes.
Ghazali said 300 people have volunteered to become monitors and undergone training.
The Kuwaiti ruler dissolved parliament in December after accepting the government's resignation and appointing a new prime minister following a bitter dispute between the previous government and MPs.
More than 300 candidates, including about 20 women, have registered to contest the election for the 50-seat parliament.