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MP muscles in on anti-doping ... bulks up with panel bill Bedoun issue termed a ticking time bomb

KUWAIT CITY, March 2: The parliamentary Legislative and Legal Committee on Sunday rejected the request of the Public Prosecution to lift the immunity of Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem in a press misdemeanor case filed against him by MP Safa Al-Hashim.
According to Committee Chairman Abdul-Karim Al-Kandari, the Speaker attended the meeting and the panel decided to reject the request after hearing his side. 
Al-Kandari disclosed the committee also rejected the request to lift the immunity of MP Abdul-Hameed Dashti in a press misdemeanor case filed against him by former MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaie.
Meanwhile, Al-Kandari said the committee approved a proposal presented by MPs Mohammed Al-Huwailah, Saud Al-Huraiji and Abdul-Rahman Al-Jeeran on banning the import of meat without certificates indicating ‘slaughtered in Islamic way’. 
On the other hand, the Financial and Economic Committee approved the request of the government for another one month grace period to present its vision on the proposed children allowance increment. In the last meeting with the committee, the government made the request as it needs more time to study the issue and to present an alternative to the children allowance increment recommended by the Parliament. The government told the committee at the time that the proposal will cost the State a lot of money; hence, it needs more time to present an alternative.
On the absence of Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh, Committee Rapporteur MP Mohammed Al-Jabri clarified the minister was not able to attend the meeting as he underwent surgery.
In another development, MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji submitted a draft bill on the establishment of Kuwait Anti-Doping Committee (KADC), which will be an independent legislative and executive panel from the current Disciplinary and Appeal committees. He revealed the proposed committee will oversee all matters related to combating doping at the national level. He said the committee will execute the international anti-doping rules in a bid to eliminate enhancement drugs and stimulants, which have become widespread in Kuwait.
Furthermore, MP Safa Al-Hashim considers the Bedoun issue a ticking time bomb. She lamented the dissolved Parliament presented a proposal on the naturalization of 4,000 Bedouns but no concrete step has been taken in this regard until now. She wondered if the government’s attitude towards the issue is a form of intimidation or just plain procrastination. She alleged the government appears not to be interested in the matter at all, asserting Bedouns are not allowed to leave the country and the government does not provide them with job opportunities. She wants to know why the government does not grant nationality to deserving applicants and migration rights to those who are not eligible for naturalization. 
On another issue, Al-Hashem said she prepared queries for the state minister for housing affairs regarding law number 45/2007, which mandates the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) to establish a Kuwaiti joint company to construct a residential city with low-cost housing units. She wants to know the reason for the authority’s failure to implement the law despite information obtained from reliable sources on the availability of 160,000 plots ready for construction. 
She also directed a query to HH the Prime Minister, asking if the latter is capable of fulfilling HH the Amir’s dream of transforming the State of Kuwait into an international financial center. She concluded by saying this is her last warning to the premier and “responding through national songs is unacceptable this time”, referring to the premier’s answer to the points of the grilling request she presented earlier.
Moreover, head of the committee tasked to investigate all Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) tenders MP Yaqoub Al-Sanee said they invited the board of directors of Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) and KAC to the panel’s meeting on Thursday.
The MP also unveiled the committee’s plan to invite the ministers of Finance and Communication to discuss their opinions on the KAC contracts and to clarify the political responsibilities of both ministers. He pointed out this meeting is important to know if KIA approved the Airbus deal with KAC or not. In case KIA rejected the deal, the committee will look into the legal basis of KAC’s decision to push ahead with the deal despite the rejection of KIA, especially since the new amendments to the KAC law have yet to be published in local newspapers. He was quick to add though that even if the amendments are published in local newspapers, the Cabinet has not announced the minister in charge of the corporation, so the amendments should not be implemented yet.
The MP also explained the committee has no right to express opinion on the purchase of aircraft as its main function is to ensure that everything is processed in accordance with the law and Constitution in order to protect public funds; in addition to submitting reports to the Assembly.
 By Abubakar A. Ibrahim and
Ahmed Al-Naqeeb
Arab Times Staff

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