By B Izzak & KUNA

KUWAIT: HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf Al-Sabah conveyed to interior ministry personnel the greetings and appreciations of HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, stressing their work is a source of pride.

In a press statement, the interior ministry's general department of public relations and security media said this came during the premier's visit to security personnel guarding celebrations of the national days on Arabian Gulf Street. HH Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf was received by Interior Ministry Undersecretary Lt Gen Anwar Al-Barjas and a number of security commanders. HH the PM also expressed his appreciation to the interior ministry and all bodies that secured the national celebrations.

During the visit, HH Sheikh Ahmad was briefed on the security arrangements and the efforts of the interior ministry in securing the national celebrations. He was also briefed on the security plan and the mechanism of work of the field operations room and traffic surveillance cameras.

Meanwhile, five lawmakers submitted a draft law calling to grant children of Kuwaiti women married to foreign husbands a number of key benefits including permanent residency, in addition to free healthcare and education, a lawmaker said on Wednesday. MP Jenan Bushehri said the draft legislation also calls to grant children of Kuwaiti women the right to set up companies without a Kuwaiti partner and the right to own real estate inherited from their mothers.

Kuwaiti laws do not permit children of Kuwaiti women married to foreign husbands citizenship and treats them almost like foreigners. They also require them to have a sponsor for their residency. But Bushehri said the new proposed bill calls to grant children of Kuwaiti women permanent residency from birth, in addition to a civil ID valid for five years, which can be renewed regardless if the passport is valid or not.

Bushehri said this provision is specifically designed to benefit stateless children of Kuwaiti women, many of whom do not have passports. The lawmaker said based on statistics by the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI), 15,716 Kuwaiti women are married to foreigners, 90 percent of whom are Arabs. These women have a total of 43,766 children based on statistics from June last year.

Kuwaiti women married to stateless people, locally known as bedoons, are not included in these statistics, otherwise the number will be much higher, said Bushehri. Under the proposed law, children of Kuwaiti women are not required to transfer their residency permits to their employers. The draft law also stipulates retirement benefits for children of Kuwaiti women, and priority to get jobs immediately after Kuwaiti nationals. They also have the right to get government jobs after Kuwaitis and get the same wages as their Kuwaiti counterparts.

Also, a number of activists and former lawmakers issued a statement on Wednesday in which they called on MPs to hold National Assembly sessions without the presence of the government after the formation of the government is taking a long time. The Assembly has not held any session since Jan 11 following a standoff with the government which resigned two weeks later. So far, no one has been appointed as prime minister to form the new Cabinet.

Some experts say Kuwaiti law forbids MPs to hold sessions without the presence of the government, while others say the constitution allows MPs to hold sessions without the need for ministers to be present. The statement said the Kuwaiti people voted in September in a historic election and elected a National Assembly with the hope to achieve their aspirations.

But the government has acted like the previous ones, sparking yet another political crisis that is preventing the Assembly from meeting and working to serve the Kuwaiti people. MP Faisal Al-Kandari called on Wednesday for accelerating the process of forming the new government in order not to block serving the interests of the Kuwaiti people.