Aerial View of Kuwait Parliament Building during Day
Aerial View of Kuwait Parliament Building during Day

Assembly ‘opener’ on April 21

Govt again denies raising fuel prices after MP releases documents

KUWAIT: MP Saleh Ashour, the second oldest lawmaker in the National Assembly who will chair the house’s opening session, invited lawmakers on Tuesday to attend the new Assembly’s opener on Sunday, April 21. Ashour said the Assembly’s secretariat contacted former speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun, who is the oldest member at 90 years old, to chair the opening session, but he apologized because he plans to run for the speaker’s post.

As a result, Ashour officially became the lawmaker to chair the opening session, he said. Ashour said after HH the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah issued a decree postponing the opening session to May 14, the earlier decree which set the opener on April 17 became redundant. The opening session is expected to be only ceremonial, since no government has been formed and no Assembly session can be held without the presence of at least one Cabinet minister.

The controversy started when an Amiri decree was issued inviting MPs for an April 17 opening session in accordance with article 87 of the constitution, which states that the inauguration of the new Assembly must take place within two weeks of announcing the election results. But HH the Amir later invoked his constitutional powers in accordance with article 106 of the constitution, which allows HH the Amir to postpone Assembly sessions for up to one month.

The postponement came after caretaker prime minister HH Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah declined an offer to form the new Cabinet. HH the Amir later named Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah to form the new government.

Meanwhile, government spokesman Amer Al-Ajmi on Tuesday reiterated that the government has not taken any decision to raise fuel prices after MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri released documents showing that the government has indeed taken a decision to raise fuel prices by 25 percent. Ajmi reiterated that the entire issue was sent back to the ministerial committee responsible for studying subsidies and price hikes.

Muwaizri had said on Monday that a decision to raise petrol prices had been taken by the government. Ajmi immediately denied the report, insisting that the issue was still under study. Muwaizri then displayed documents, saying they were from the Cabinet and showing the decision had been taken, which was denied again by the government spokesman.

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