Lawmaker vows to oppose ouster of convicted MPs

KUWAIT: Opposition lawmaker Majed Al-Mutairi said yesterday he will totally oppose any attempt to revoke the Assembly membership of opposition MPs Jamaan Al-HArbash and Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, who have been sentenced to jail. Mutairi said that he completely respects the rule of the law and the verdicts of courts, but at the same time does not believe that the two lawmakers should be made to lose their parliamentary seats.

The court of cassation, whose rulings are final, two months ago sentenced the two lawmakers and about a dozen former MPs and opposition activists to various jail terms for storming the National Assembly building during a protest in Nov 2011. The opposition staged the demonstration to protest against reported corruption by 13 MPs who had allegedly accepted tens of millions of dinars in bribes for their votes in the Assembly.

The Assembly is expected to be involved in a legal battle between a group that insists the two members must be stripped of their membership after their conviction in court and another group of MPs that insists that the two lawmakers must retain their membership in the Assembly. A final decision on the issue is expected to be reached when the Assembly starts a new term in mid-October. Constitutional and legal experts have given conflicting opinions on the issue.

Meanwhile, MP Thamer Al-Suwait said yesterday that the Assembly’s human rights committee discussed the death of a cadet at the military academy during training with his father and lawyer. The lawmaker said the committee decided to pay a visit to the military academy to investigate the conditions faced by trainees. Suwait said that the father of one of the two cadets who died gave the committee the death certificate in which the cause of the death was given as thermal exhaustion. He said that in some cases, cadets at the military academy do not undergo training but “torture”, and the issue must be dealt with promptly.

The defense ministry has suspended a number of top officers and ordered an investigation into the deaths and injuries.
Separately, MP Askar Al-Enezi yesterday proposed the formation of a special department at the health ministry to ensure that medical services are provided at the highest level. The lawmaker said that the proposed department has become necessary as the number of medical errors has been on the rise.

By B Izzak

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