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Kuwaiti members of Parliament Safa’ Al-Hashem (right) and Ali Al-Rashid (left) leave the National Assembly
Amir rules out Assembly dissolution in ‘frank’ talks MPs HASHEM, RASHID SUBMIT RESIGNATIONS

KUWAIT CITY, May 4: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al- Ghanim said on Sunday that his meeting with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah today was characterized by “openness, transparency and disclosure”, and discussed issues which concern the country and citizens. Al-Ghanim said in a statement that he had the privilege today to have met with His Highness the Amir, adding that as usual, the meeting was “frank and transparent.” He said that he listened with interest to His Highness the Amir’s views and wise directives aimed for the best interest of the homeland and citizens.

He said His Highness the Amir stressed, during the meeting, several points and asked him to convey them to the Kuwaiti people, chiefly, his full and unlimited confidence in the role of the National Assembly in making pieces of legislation and monitoring cabinet ministers’ performance, affirming that His Highness the Amir emphasized that there is no intention to dissolve the parliament and that this matter is out of question.

Al-Ghanim added that the decision to dissolve the National Assembly is in the hands of His Highness the Amir alone, quoting His Highness the Amir as calling on the nation’s lawmakers to complete the process of work and cooperation with the executive authority to achieve the ambitions and aspirations of the citizens to a better future for the dear country.

He stated that His Highness the Amir emphasized that all schemes aiming to undermine the stability of the Kuwaiti society would never succeed, stressing the importance of working under the umbrella of the Constitution. He added that His Highness the Amir asked him to inform members of the National Assembly that they still have to work harder in order to achieve accomplishments for the sake of the nation and the citizens. Al-Ghanim concluded by appreciating His Highness the Amir’s call for working under the umbrella of the Constitution and shoring up state institutions. MPs Safa’ Al-Hashem and Ali Al-Rashid officially submitted their resignation Sunday to the Parliament; thereby, increasing the number of resigned MPs to five.

Last week, MPs Riyadh Al- Adsani, Abdulkarim Al- Kandari and Hussein Al- Quwaian took a similar step. Reasons for the lawmakers’ resignation include the alleged violation of Article 50 of the Constitution which stipulates separation of powers between the executive and legislative authorities, inability of MPs to play their supervisory role on the government, failure to implement important projects, covering up corruption and corrupt persons, and the Parliament speaker’s misuse of power. Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim confirmed that he received the resignation letters from Al-Hashem and Al- Rashid, asserting he will handle the issue in accordance with the Constitution and Parliament’s charter.

On the other hand, Al-Hashm responded to queries from reporters after submitting her resignation. She revealed there was no attempt from the side of the Speaker to convince them to withdraw their resignation letters, “because he knew this is our final decision.” She added they only talked about what happened in the previous session.

For his part, Al-Rashid reiterated his plan not to participate in any parliamentary elections; clarifying that he decided to withdraw from parliamentary and electoral life, not political life. He said he intends to continue his political career outside the Parliament as he will work with the Independent Bloc in the service of Kuwait and its people. He then apologized to his constituents for withdrawing from Parliament work, noting that all Kuwaitis understand the reasons behind his resignation. Commenting on the resignation of his colleagues, MP Abdul-Rahman Al-Jeeran pointed out every MP has the right to resign but the Parliament takes the final decision.

He thinks the next session will witness reconciliation, hoping his colleagues will rescind their decision. He stressed Kuwait is in dire need of cooperation more than anything else, calling on everyone to compromise for the sake of the nation. He added the Parliament will look after the general interests in terms of accepting, rejecting or postponing talks on the resignation. On the prime minister’s demand for withdrawal of the interpellation in the previous session, Al-Jeeran explained the Constitutional Court is the sole institution in charge of settling disagreements on the interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution.

He added the court ruling in this regard states that the premier is responsible for the general policy of the country and other ministers are responsible for the executive duties. He underscored the need to unite and avoid division as long as the objective is to serve the country, appealing to everyone to respect the views of others. “As long as we accept democracy, we have to be ready to face the consequences like the presence of a majority in the Parliament,” he added. Furthermore, MP Sadoun Hammad Al- Otaibi denied rumors spread on Twitter that he resigned from the Parliament. On the MPs who submitted their resignation, Al-Otaibi said it was their choice and other lawmakers can only accept their resignation to pave the way for bye elections. He added the lawmakers have no power to dissolve the Parliament, because this is under the sole jurisdiction of the Amir. He then unveiled his plan to run in the next elections in the Third Constituency, instead of the current Fifth Constituency.

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

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