Assembly agrees to delay grillings MPs allow period of progress

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 19: The National Assembly on Tuesday agreed to postpone the grilling motions against the Minister of Communications and the Minister of Interior to the next round of the 14th legislative term in October upon the request of the Cabinet.

The Assembly, however, assigned the Interior and Defense Affairs Committee to investigate a security contract between Kuwait and “‘Senstar’ security company based in Canada which is entirely owned by the Israeli security company ‘Magal’ in violation of a law (21/1964) on the boycott of Israel”.

MPs Hussein Al-Qallaf and Faisal Al-Duwaisan argued that their grilling motions contain vital arguments and grave evidence of violations committed in both ministries that should be discussed. They stressed that their intentions are unlike the “annulled Majority Bloc” and that the interpellations truly seek to “ensure that the country’s interests, security and dignity are safeguarded”. Al-Duwaisan especially stressed that “the people can never accept any dealings with the Zionist entity”.

The government, meanwhile, assured that it will look into and address the matters cited in the inquires and that it respects the right of lawmakers to file such motions.

Absent from the session was Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah who is out of the country for medical treatment. State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Rola Dashti requested the postponement of his grilling motion to give the minister an opportunity to correct the defects cited.” She added that “political stability is needed in the country in order to achieve developments since only two months have passed on the formation of the Assembly”.

Minister of Communications Salem Al-Uthaina requested the Assembly for a suitable leeway period to implement the ministry’s program and achieve the required reforms, particularly since it’s been only two months since he assumed the ministerial post. He added that he is committed to building an effective and cooperative relationship with the Assembly.

It is worth mentioning that Speaker of Parliament held a closed-door meeting with the majority of lawmakers Monday evening to discuss the grilling motions filed. The parliamentarians reportedly decided not to withdraw the motions but to postpone them and allow ministers a period for progress.
At the session, 37 MPs approved the request to postpone the Communication Minister’s grilling, 23 rejected it, while two abstained. Meanwhile, 39 MPs approved the request to postpone the Interior Minister’s grilling, 21 rejected it, while one abstained.

The proponents of Al-Qallaf’s grilling were on the re-hiring of high-ranking officials after they were investigated and convicted by committees formed at the ministry as well as alleged violations committed at the ministry.

Meanwhile, Al-Duwaisan’s grilling was on the Interior Minister’s alleged “slackness in regards to the threat of Zionist espionage to Kuwait due to a security deal with an Israeli security company” and “the adoption of policies that violate the ethics and values that are upheld by security personnel, therefore compromising their role and respectability within society.”

On another note, the National Assembly rejected a request that sought to appeal to the Ministers of Public Works and Electricity and Water to delay the implementation of Al-Jaber Bridge and Al-Zour Power Station mega projects until the parliament committee investigating the contracts completes its inquires.
Furthermore, a bill on unemployment insurance was approved in its second deliberation and referred to the government for implementation.

The Assembly also discussed eight requests from the Public Prosecution to lift the parliamentary immunity of MP Nabil Al-Fadhl on various audio/visual and press misdemeanors. Three requests were approved and five were rejected.

Al-Fadhl submitted a proposal on Tuesday to amend the Penal Code to include a penalty of one to two years imprisonment against those convicted of addressing HH the Amir in an inappropriate manner during speech in public.

By: Nihal Sharaf Arab Times Staff

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