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HH the Amir received HH Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al- Ahmad Al-Sabah in Bayan Palace
‘Grillings won’t delay laws’ Bill on Friday prayer-time closure

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 24: The Parliament is keen on passing important laws and there will be no delays in this aspect, considering the plan to hold special sessions for deliberations on interpellation requests, says National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem. Al-Ghanem made the statement to allay fears that the ratification of significant laws might be delayed due to the wave of interpellation requests. He disclosed the Parliament will hold special sessions right after the formation of the new government to compensate for the regular sessions, which were rescheduled due to the recent turn of events in the political arena.

He pointed out there is no reason for the people to fear that the passage of important laws might be delayed, because the Parliament will hold sessions for this purpose; in addition to the special sessions for grilling requests. He revealed the laws lined up for ratification by the legislature include electronic transactions, trial of ministers, Central Bank of Kuwait, banking professions regulation, establishment of the public authority for telecommunications, housing loan and children allowance, among others.

According to Al-Ghanem, a board of constitutional experts was formed to serve as reference for the Parliament to rectify previous mistakes and improve parliamentary practices. He said the new legislative building will be ready within nine months and all the problems encountered earlier had been resolved Earlier in the morning, the speaker adjourned the session until Jan 7, 2014 due to lack of quorum as the government members were absent in light of their resignation.

In another development, MPs Hamoud Al-Hamdan, Ahmed Al-Mutei, Hussein Al-Quwaian, Abdul-Rahman Al-Jeeran and Madhi Al-Hajiri presented a draft bill to prohibit business transactions during Friday prayers.

Article One of the bill states that buying and selling shall be prohibited in the markets, commercial complexes, cooperative societies and restaurants before Friday prayers — for around half an hour until the end of the prayers. Article Two grants the Kuwait Municipality employees the right to carry out judicial arrest with a warrant in the application of the law.

The state minister for Municipal Affairs is mandated to issue the executive bylaws of this law. Article Three states that anybody who violates the provisions of this law will be fined KD 1,000 and the establishments or shops will be closed for a month after the publication of the court verdict in at least two Kuwaiti dailies. Article Four calls on the Prime Minister and respective Cabinet members to implement this law, which shall be effective from the date of its publication in the official gazette. Furthermore, MP Mohammed Tanna Al-Anazi said the widespread use of social networking sites and applications like Twitter, Instagram and Kick requires close monitoring to prevent the unscrupulous individuals from promoting their destructive ideologies.

He pointed out these sites are actually good as they strengthen ties between the people but it should be used properly. He cited as examples sites or pages that call for atheism, infidelity and sorcery; in addition to those selling fake products and discussion of issues that pollute the minds of the people, especially the youths. He wondered about the role of the interior, communication and information ministers in controlling such a negative phenomenon. He urged these institutions to monitor the suspicious accounts and open their doors to receive complaints.

Meanwhile, MP Abdulhameed Dashti revealed he submitted a number of draft bills on the voting system on his first day at work. He attributed the annulment of two legislatures to the unfair voting system; indicating that his proposals are aimed at securing the system to prevent the recurrence of electoral malpractices. He asserted that today is the first day of continuous stability in the country, hoping HH the Prime Minister will form a Cabinet consisting of competent ministers who share the vision of the Parliament.

Commenting on Dashti’s bills, MP Adnan AdulSamad clarified the parliamentary regulations state a lawmaker should not start working until he is sworn into office. He added the same goes for MP Nabeel Al-Fadel as the parliamentary membership of both lawmakers was validated Monday by the Constitutional Court. On the other hand, MP Riyadh Al- Adsani stressed there is no truth in the statement of MP Ali Al-Omair on the committee tasked to investigate the multi-million dinar scandal. He said Al- Omair claimed the committee convened seven times but the truth is that there were only five meetings and attendance was not complete in two of these meetings. He then asked his colleague to be transparent and honest. Al-Adsani added Al-Omair, who heads the committee, has no right to require lawmakers to obtain permission before reviewing panel’s documents.

He argued the internal regulations of the Assembly stipulate that lawmakers are allowed to review documents whenever necessary and there is no need to obtain permission from anyone. Commenting on the statements of Al- Adsani, Al-Omair stressed he has no intention to argue with his colleague on the work of the committee, even if the latter had accused him of failure to abide by transparency principles. He then apologized for not being ‘transparent’ as the multi-million deposit scandal is a delicate and important issue, which comes with sensitive and confidential information. He clarified his role as head of the committee is limited to management of its affairs, not to impose personal views on anyone.

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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