Some MPs object to new bedoons draft law

KUWAIT: Five lawmakers yesterday demanded an urgent debate in the National Assembly of proposed amendments to the election law to change the voting system. MPs Riyadh Al-Adasani, Abdullah Al-Kandari, Bader Al-Mulla, Mohammad Al-Dallal and Abdullah Fahhad said that a draft law on the amendments had been submitted to the assembly and referred to the interior and defense committee.

They said that the head of the interior committee promised that the committee will send its report on the amendments to the assembly but has so far failed to do so although the amendments were submitted several months ago. The amendments basically call to allow voters to pick up two candidates in the assembly elections instead of one candidate under the existing law. The lawmakers said that under the assembly charter, any particular bill can be debated directly by the assembly without the need for the concerned panel to review it especially if it takes a long time.

In the meantime, a number of lawmakers yesterday expressed their opposition to a draft law submitted by the assembly speaker last week to resolve the problem of stateless people locally known as bedoons. MP Al-Humaidi Al-Subaie said he totally rejects any law that does not fully provide bedoons their rights especially the right to Kuwaiti citizenship, adding that he and others will continue to press until bedoons get their rights.

The lawmaker was commenting on a draft law submitted by assembly speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem that calls to grant some bedoons Kuwaiti citizenship and others a premium residency provided they uncover their actual nationality. Subaie questioned how many more suicide cases among the bedoons are needed to highlight the plight of bedoons and push to resolve their decades-old problem.

MP Khalil Abul reiterated his backing to a draft law calling to grant bedoons full humanitarian and basic rights submitted by a number of MPs in the previous term. He also declared his support for a similar law presented by the lawyers association. MP Faisal Al-Kandari meanwhile denied reports that he had signed on the draft law filed by the speaker.
Head of the Foreign Relations Committee MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari said yesterday that the committee decided to invite the foreign ministry to review latest regional developments and the issue of mediation efforts Kuwait is carrying out to resolve the Gulf dispute.

By B Izzak