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CR IP TI ON BS SU 40 PAGES NO: 15315 150 FILS SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, 2012 SAFAR 7, 1433 AH World welcomes 2012 after turbulent year Fireworks and parties as revelers bid 2011 adieu Registration closes, battle lines drawn By B Izzak KUWAIT: The number of candidates who registered to run in the 2012 elections rose to 389 including 29 women at close of registration on Friday as 10 members of the dissolved 50-seat National Assembly opted out of the race. The biggest surprise on the last day was the registration of former MP and leading liberal figure Mishari Al-Ossaimi, who had decided not to contest the previous two elections. Ossaimi’s unexpected move has made the second constituency, where he has decided to run, one of the toughest electoral districts with a large number of liberal and Islamist candidates fighting for the 10 seats available. The number of candidates at close of registration of nominations in this election is higher than the previous elections in 2009 when only 282 hopefuls registered and in 2008 when 380 candidates signed up. The number is expected to drop considerably when candidates start withdrawing until the process ends on Jan 25, or seven days before the day of the election on Feb Continued on Page 13 KUALA LUMPUR: Fireworks explode near Malaysia’s landmark Petronas Twin Towers during New Year 2012 celebrations early today. — AFP (See Page 40) Max 24º Min 11º High Tide 04:20 & 17:40 Low Tide 10:30 & 23:41 PARIS: Glittering fireworks exploded yesterday as revelers welcomed 2012 and others around the world looked forward to bidding a weary adieu to a year marred by natural disasters and economic turmoil. It wasn’t all doom and gloom. In Sydney more than 1.5 million people crowded onto yachts and along the shores of the city’s harbor to watch the shimmering pyrotechnic display designed around the theme “Time to Dream” - a nod to the eagerness many felt in moving forward after the rough year. “It’s about giving people the opportunity to dream of the year ahead and that hopefully it is a bit better than the year we’ve had,” said Aneurin Coffey, producer of Sydney’s New Year’s festivities. Some of the fireworks formed the shape of clouds - “Because every cloud has a silver lining,” Coffey said. Colorful lights beamed onto the center of the bridge formed an “endless rainbow” symbolizing hope. “Every year we make sure our celebrations are bigger and better than the one before,” Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said. Two hours later there were celebrations in Tokyo as the clock struck midnight with balloons released, fireworks Continued on Page 13

1st Jan 2012

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