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Kuwait denies tapping phones
July 31, 2013, 4:11 pm

Kuwait’s communication ministry has denied reports that it had tapped the phones of local political activists and former lawmakers.

Social networks and microblogs carried claims that the ministry was monitoring the phones of political activists and ex-MPs in order to monitor the alleged sale and purchase of votes ahead of the parliamentary elections held on July 27. The allegations said that the ministry wanted to provide the interior ministry with evidence about irregular practices.

The interior ministry had pledged full legal action against those involved in the lucrative trafficking that would give candidates a high number of votes if voters were given financial rewards. “The ministry of communication did not ask any of the three mobile providers to tap telephones,” ministry sources told local daily Al Kuwaitiya. “The claims posted on microblogs of candidates and social media are not true.”

Overcoming frustration with voting in short-lived parliaments, and braving soaring temperatures and long hours of fasting, Kuwaiti voters headed to polling stations for the sixth time since 2006 to elect their 50 representatives in the legislative house. Only two women, a Shiite and a liberal, won seats in the polls where the country’s largest tribes lost several seats to smaller tribes following the introduction of the one voter, one vote concept in a development that deepened the standoff between the government and the opposition.

Claims that political money was being used by candidates to influence the outcome prompted the interior ministry to pledge a zero-tolerance policy and to conduct several raids and make arrests.


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