MPs to debate sports situation

KUWAIT: The National Assembly is expected to hold a special debate on the sports situation in the country after the International Olympic Committee slapped a total suspension on Kuwaiti sports for allegedly violating the law. MP Abdullah Maayouf said that he and MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji will brief the Assembly on the meetings between IOC and Kuwait Olympic Committee and sports authorities about two weeks ago. The lawmaker said MPs will debate who is responsible for the suspension and what measures should the government take regarding the issue.

The suspension of Kuwaiti sports came under the pretext that the government interferes in the sports federations and clubs, which had already sent a letter to IOC denying any interference. Several MPs have directly accused head of the Kuwait Football Association Sheikh Talal Al-Fahd of causing the suspension. Minister of Information and Sports and Youth Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah had stressed that the government will not bow to pressure and will insist on applying Kuwaiti laws. Maayouf said the Assembly will issue a number of recommendations to the government regarding the issue.

In another development, MP Adel Al-Khorafi expected yesterday that three to four grillings will be filed by MPs against ministers. He provided no details after a grilling against the minister of social affairs and labor was debated on the opening day of the Assembly’s new term. It ended without filing a no-confidence motion.

In the meantime, defense lawyers for around 70 opposition activists on trial for storming the National Assembly building in 2011 yesterday walked out of the hearing in protest against forcing jailed opposition leader Musallam Al-Barrak to attend the hearing. The lawyers also called for changing the judge presiding over the case in the appeals court, while Barrak, a former MP, said he was forced to come to the courtroom without even knowing the date of the trial.

Barrak is serving a two-year jail sentence for insulting HH the Amir during a public rally. The appeals court then adjourned the hearing until Nov 25 to give time to the defendants to appoint new lawyers. The criminal court had acquitted all the defendants who include 11 former lawmakers. In another case, Barrak was fined KD 100 yesterday for taking part in an illegal gathering, while opposition activist Abdullah Al-Rassam was handed a suspended one-month term for insulting former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

By B Izzak

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