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High-rise buildings adorned with colored lights, some depicting the Kuwait flag, as part of the preparations towards national days celebrations
REFURBISHED PRODUCT BRANDING COMES UNDER SCRUTINY Fault lines rumble on security pact

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 10: MPs have been voicing their objection to the Gulf Security Agreement since the Foreign Affairs Committee discussed it early this week. In a series of press statements and conferences after the committee meeting, the lawmakers have repeatedly expressed concern over the alleged violation against the Constitution of Kuwait and the ambiguous points in the agreement. However, sources recently revealed that most Shiite MPs are leaning towards the approval of the agreement; affirming these lawmakers will vote for the agreement when the time comes.

After reaffirming his objection to the agreement due to its ambiguity and numerous constitutional violations, MP Abdullah Al-Tamimi vehemently denied the above allegation, calling it a “tasteless rumor.” Al-Tamimi, a Shiite MP believes none of the other Shiite MPs will vote in favor of the agreement; indicating this type of allegation often fuels sectarian conflicts in society. He pointed out this is the work of those keen on weakening the legislative authority’s influence, as well as preventing the MPs from playing their legislative and supervisory roles. He warned the approval of the agreement is tantamount to undermining the sovereignty of the country. He stressed that in case the other 49 MPs approve the agreement, then he will be honored to reject it even if he is alone.

While corroborating Al-Tamimi’s statement, MP Khaleel Al-Saleh, another Shiite MP, also rejected the agreement. He urged his colleagues to fight for what is right and to protect the Constitution. He added that he will do everything in his power to stand against the agreement, especially since the constitutional experts have confirmed its unconstitutionality. Meanwhile, Rapporteur of the Housing Committee MP Rakaan Al-Nusuf disclosed they have partnered with UNHabitat to intensify efforts in addressing the housing issue. He explained UNHabitat promotes socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities; hence, the collaboration will greatly contribute to the ongoing efforts to solve the housing problem in Kuwait. He said information has been exchanged with UN-Habitat teams in Bahrain and Tunisia in preparation for a more integrated collaboration with other governmental institutions.

The rapporteur clarified the committee is seeking sustainable solutions, not commercial. He added former State Minister for Housing Affairs Salem Al-Utheina had earlier informed the committee about a plan to distribute 162,000 housing units. He admitted the distribution of such a large number of houses is an enormous burden on the part of the executive authority; hence, the need to cooperate with international experts. Moreover, MP Yaqoub Al-Sane submitted a draft bill obligating all importing companies to put ‘refurbished’ stamps on all refurbished products, while fully informing the customers about their purchase.

He said refurbished products are made of damaged or outdated components of the same products and the process is different from recycling. He added a large number of ‘refurbished’ products are being sold in the local market nowadays as if they are brand new. He lamented the refurbishment cost is not that high, yet the products are sold at a price similar to brand new products. He stressed this should be classified as a scam because the customers are not informed about the real condition of the refurbished products.

In another development, MP Nabeel Al-Fadel submitted a draft bill to add a new article to the State Penal Code to criminalize the act of challenging a judge, lawyer or anyone with judicial authority through any means in a bid to undermine and interfere with their practice. The penalties include three to five years imprisonment and fine ranging from KD3,000 to 5,000. In his proposal, the lawmaker explained the State of Kuwait has three main authorities - Legislative, Executive and Judicial, which must be balanced in terms of independence and resistance to influence. He added the bill mandates the Judicial Authority to fulfill its obligations without any interference or influence from other authorities or the public. He said the judiciary is the main authority for settling disputes.


By: Ahmed Al-Naqeeb

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