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Assembly by-elections set for June 26 MP PANEL PRIORITIZES PROBE INTO KIA LOSSES

KUWAIT CITY, May 19: Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al- Hamad Al-Sabah briefed the cabinet, during its meeting Sunday, that parliamentary by-elections would be held on Thursday, June 26. Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled, also Acting Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, explained the preparations and coordination among government authorities to hold the parliamentary by-elections, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah said in a statement after a cabinet meeting. By-elections will be held in the Second, Third and Fourth Constituencies after the parliament approved, during a session on May 15, the resignations of MPs Riyadh Al-Adsani, Dr. Abdulkareem Al- Kanderi, Dr. Hussein Al-Guwaian, Ali Al-Rashed, and Safaa Al- Hashem.

The cabinet, meeting under chairmanship of Acting Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, formed a committee to be chaired by the Interior Ministry to prepare and organize the elections. The committee comprises of ministries of justice, information, education and social affairs, as well as Kuwait Municipality, said Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah. The Ministry of Interior, meanwhile announced that it will start on Tuesday receiving applications of candidacy for the five vacant parliamentary seats.

In a press statement, the Ministry of Interior said that submission of the candidacy applications will last till Thursday, May 29. It noted that its employees will receive the parliamentary hopefuls at the Ministry’s Election Affairs Department in Shuwaikh B area from 7:30 am to 1: 30 pm The statement stated that a nominee who wants to abolish his/her candidacy application and withdraw from the race must present an official request in this regard at least seven days before the elections.

The parliamentary Human Resources Committee is keen on passing the End-of-Service Bill within the current parliamentary term, says Rapporteur of the panel MP Abdulhamid Dashti. Dashti said the representatives of the Finance Ministry and Public Institution of Social Security are willing to cooperate in pushing for the approval of the bill to ensure equality among workers in all sectors. He revealed the committee will prepare the estimated cost for the implementation of the proposal.

On the proposed unification of the salary scale, Dashti admitted it will take time to finalize the issue as it requires a thorough analysis of thousands of jobs. He went on to say the minister of finance has instructed several concerned parties to cooperate with the Assembly to complete this project.

In another development, the Youth and Sports Affairs Committee met Monday in the presence of Minister of Information and State Minister for Youth and Sports Affairs Sheikh Salman Al-Hamoud and Chairman of the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) Sheikh Ahmed Al- Mansour to discuss proposed privatization of football clubs. Committee Chairman Abdullah Al- Turaiji confirmed the government welcomes the idea of delegating the panel to study the proposal.

He said the government may face legal and constitutional issues if it does not quickly present amendments to decree number 26/2012. He pointed out the MPs clearly raised this issue, indicating the minister had promised to refer the government’s amendments as soon as possible to the Parliament for approval. He revealed the panel tackled the problems and obstacles that the sports clubs are currently facing; especially the issues on allotting time for sports activities, partial profession and sports structures.

He affirmed the sports minister had vowed to resolve these problems, adding that PAYS officials confirmed the start of work in the stadium of Yarmouk Sports Club in November. On the other hand, Sheikh Salman informed the parliamentary committee about the government’s amendments to decree number 26/2012 on sports authorities; some of which address the constitutional loopholes while changing the voting mechanism in football clubs to one vote per person.

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

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