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

Assembly sets legislative roadmap

Prime Minister orders probe into replies to MPs’ ‘unconstitutional’ questions

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: The National Assembly on Wednesday unanimously approved its legislative roadmap for the current eight-month term, with political reforms and improving the standard of living of citizens topping the list of priorities. MP Marzouq Al-Ghanem expressed reservations because the proposed list of legislations does not include a law for national identity and another for resolving the plight of stateless people, locally known as bedoons.

A number of lawmakers said top priority should be given to legislations on political reforms, especially changing the electoral system by amending the electoral districts and the voting system. The Assembly’s legal and legislative committee has invited all those interested, including civil societies, to a conference next Tuesday to discuss the issue. MP Hasan Jowhar said the one-vote voting system almost divided the society and it is time to change it by issuing a new law in line with deep-rooted Kuwaiti democracy.

Head of the legal and legislative panel MP Mohannad Al-Sayer said the call for the conference on amending the election system came because “political reforms are the gateway for all reforms”. He said the country and the people have suffered from the single-vote system, adding that during next Tuesday’s meeting, all opinions will be heard and the committee will select the system accepted by the people.

MP Abdullah Al-Mudhaf stressed on the importance of changing the electoral districts and called for adopting the proposed party-list system in elections to replace the current system based entirely on individuals. MP Abdulaziz Al-Saqabi said sensitive and crucial issues facing the country can be only resolved when we have political stability, adding MPs have a historic opportunity to achieve reforms and approve the party-list system in elections. MP Abdulkarim Al-Kandari called for implementing recommendations approved by the Assembly during a special session on Palestine, saying the Zionist army has been bombarding hospitals in Gaza.

During the session, the Assembly approved a request by head of the youth and sports committee MP Mubarak Al-Hajraf to talk to the International Olympic Committee over its decision in which it implicated Kuwait’s National Assembly. Hajraf said that the Assembly should talk to the IOC to clarify its position. But Ghanem insisted that the letter is unconstitutional because the committee has not met to make the decision. He added the letter also violates Kuwaiti laws, since only the foreign ministry can contact or arrange contacts with foreign entities like the IOC. The Assembly then adjourned the session until Nov 28.

Meanwhile, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf Al-Sabah ordered the immediate formation of an ad hoc committee to study replies the premier made to MPs’ questions that were deemed to be unconstitutional. The decision was made following a meeting between Assembly Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun and HH the Prime Minister, in which they discussed the premier’s replies to MPs’ questions, the Center for Government Communication said in a statement Wednesday.

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