A Study of Crimes that Affect the Integrity and Transparency of the Electoral Process and the Legal Implications of Considering them as Corrupt Practices
Dr. Eiman Khaled Al-Qattan
Assistant Professor of Criminal Law – College of Law – University of Kuwait
On the surface, the Kuwaiti Parliamentary Election Act (35/ 1962) and its subsequent amendments provide adequate criminal legal protection for the electoral and voting process in Kuwait. However, some illegal acts or electoral violations that subvert the electoral process and subsequently violate electoral integrity are not considered to be corrupt practices under Kuwaiti criminal legislations. These violations include unauthorised informal primary elections, illegal practices of election advertising, and electoral bribery.
This study applies Theoretical Research approach to examine the major consequences of not considering the above electoral violations as corrupt practices under the Kuwaiti criminal legislations. The study intensively analyses both the Kuwaiti Parliamentary Election Act (35/ 1962) and Law No. 2 of 2016, ‘On Establishing Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority and the Provisions on Disclosure of Assets and Liabilities’. This analysis suggests that some major legal provisions related to corrupt practices are not applied to the three earlier mentioned electoral violations, because they are not considered to be corrupt practices under Kuwaiti law.
Based on the findings of the analysis, the study discusses three of the major legal provisions that are not applied to the earlier mentioned electoral violations despite the fact that these practices can violate electoral integrity. The first provisions are related to the criminal responsibility of refraining from reporting corruption, the second provisions are related to exemption from punishment for the perpetrator of corruption in some situations, and the third provisions are related to the duration of the statute of limitations of the corrupt practices.
Keywords: informal primary elections, election advertising, electoral bribery, reporting corruption, statute of limitations.