HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

By B Izzak and KUNA

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah expressed yesterday hope for fruitful cooperation between the executive and legislative authorities during today's National Assembly session. HH the Amir also expressed his desire that the session will be held without tensions to enable the Cabinet - headed by HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah - to take oath in accordance with the constitution.

The government must be given the proper time to exercise its authorities and attend to its responsibilities, especially during the current trying times, affirmed HH the Amir. He said cooperation between the executive and legislative branches is important for the country, adding that the law and rulings by the constitutional court are above all.

HH the Amir also stressed that article 50 of the constitution regarding separation of duties among the authorities and cooperation amongst them is vital for the success of the Kuwaiti democratic process. He expressed confidence that MPs are up to task and will help the government achieve the interests of people and maintain the security and stability of Kuwait.

The National Assembly is now highly expected to hold its meeting today, as 32 opposition lawmakers appear to have failed to sway one more MP to join their camp to have the magical number of 33 necessary to stop the meeting. Three undecided tribal lawmakers, whom the opposition had hoped to win over, yesterday bluntly said they will attend the session after meeting HH the Amir and declaring allegiance to his call.

If the session takes place, Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem is scheduled to announce that the membership of leading opposition MP Bader Al-Dahoum is null and void based on a ruling by the constitutional court, which Dahoum and many legal experts claim violated an earlier and more important verdict by the court of cassation that allowed him to run for public office.

In the Dec 5 general polls, Dahoum won a seat in the Assembly resoundingly, securing the second highest number of votes in the country. But three voters from his constituency challenged his election and the constitutional court ruled his election was null and void on the basis that he was convicted of insulting HH the Amir in 2014.

Dahoum is a member of the Awazem tribe, the largest bedouin tribe in Kuwait. Dozens of his tribesmen yesterday thronged the residences of a number of other Awazem lawmakers and called on them to boycott the session. Police intervened and asked the angry crowds to disperse because they violated health regulations imposed to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Four of the seven Awazem MPs have said they will attend the session.

Opposition MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri yesterday lashed out at HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah and the speaker and called on them to step down, saying this will save Kuwait from nonstop political crises. He said opposition MPs planning to boycott the session will gather at the Assembly gate and will not attend the session if it starts. He said even if the prime minister is allowed to take the oath, he will be facing a series of grillings backed by a majority of lawmakers.

Opposition MPs Hasan Jowhar, Muhannad Al-Sayer and Muhalhal Al-Mudhaf yesterday filed to grill the prime minister because the government has not submitted its program for this period and over its failure to fight corruption and safeguard public funds. The grilling will not be debated in today's session if it takes place and will be discussed after two weeks. Opposition lawmakers plan to file another grilling against the prime minister. This is expected to trigger more political crises in the country between the opposition and the government.