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Hopefuls open campaigns for 5 by-poll seats Focus on Kuwaiti youth

KUWAIT CITY, June 1: Candidates for the legislative by-election slated for June 26 have started their campaigns through conferences and public appearances, hoping to win the public’s vote in order to occupy five parliamentary seats vacated by lawmakers who resigned in April and May due to disagreements over the grilling of HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al- Mubarak.

Fatima Al-Rashoud, a candidate from the Second Constituency, asked the government to implement the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Law; especially since a budget of KD2 billion has been allotted to support SMEs. She called for the establishment of an industrial area to tap the potentials of Kuwaiti youths.

Al-Rashoud asserted that providing young citizens with land for their projects will greatly contribute to solving the current problems of Kuwait, while fulfilling the wish of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah to support the youths. She said this will generate numerous job opportunities, increase productivity of the country, diversify its products and reduce inflation.

She wondered why the government seems hesitant in providing land for the projects of the youths, considering the law has been passed for quite some time now. She demanded for clarification from whoever is in charge of implementing the law.

She pointed out this law is supposed to prevent the youths from standing in long lines waiting to be employed. She said the youths have been looking forward to this law; hence, the need for the government to push for its implementation On the other hand, Abdulrahman Al- Nassaar, another candidate from the same constituency, agrees with Al-Rashoud. He accused the government of poor planning and negligence in terms of addressing the needs of Kuwaiti youths. He attributed the chaotic situation in the country to the executive authority’s failure to tap the creative potentials of the youths. Referring to the Kuwaiti youths, Al- Nassaar lamented the most valuable human resource of the country is being neglected.

He then urged the government and Parliament to prioritize the youths as they have great potential to make a change. He disclosed his campaign will focus on the Kuwaiti youths and their issues, affirming it is now time for the government to enforce all laws deemed beneficial to the youths while the Parliament should ratify laws that serve their interests. He stressed the need to immediately address issues concerning the youths, such as the housing and unemployment problems, as failure to do so might lead to a crisis that Kuwait might not overcome. In a related development, the Ministry of Information confirmed giving legislative by-election candidates a chance to campaign and present their electoral programs through its outlets free of charge. According to the ministry, each candi-date will be given three minutes to present their electoral program to be broadcasted multiple times. The ministry invited all candidates to submit their requests from June 8-12.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Response to the Amiri Address Committee MP Yousef Al-Zalzalah commended the suggestion of State Minister for Housing Affairs Yasser Aboul to include the housing issue in the government program. He said the steps being taken by the minister and his team are clear indications that efforts to resolve the housing crisis are moving towards the right direction.

This came after the committee met the minister and representatives of the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) and Higher Council for Planning on Sunday. Speaking to the press, Al-Zalzalah explained the meeting briefly discussed the program of State Ministry for Housing Affairs and plan of PAHW to distribute about 12,000 housing units annually.

He said the committee pointed out that if the authority distributes 17,000 units every year; the housing crisis will be resolved within 10 years as per the strategic plan that the panel is now trying to complete. Refuting allegations that there are problems and obstacles in the process of handing over land from the Ministry of Oil to PAHW, Al-Zalzalah alleged some people have been spreading rumors for the price of land to continue soaring. He believes the concerned authorities have the ability to overcome any obstacle to efforts to address the housing problem.

Furthermore, Chairman of Financial and Economic Affairs Committee Faisal Al-Shayeh revealed the panel discussed, during its meeting Sunday with representatives of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the proposed amendments to the Capital Markets Authority Law number 7/2010 and ways to regulate the activities of financial markets. He said the committee has requested the KCCI to submit information on the proposed amendments as soon as possible to finalize its report and present it to the Parliament before the June 10 session.

On the other hand, Al-Shaye revealed the committee has submitted its report on the proposed amendments to the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) Bill for discussion in the next session. He confirmed both the executive and legislative authorities support the revised bill. In the meantime, MP Abdullah Al- Turaiji presented a draft bill on the establishment of the Public Authority for Supervision and Control of Insurance Companies. In his proposal, the lawmaker enumerated the authority’s duties as follows: overseeing the establishment of new insurance and reinsurance companies, specifying regulations and procedures for incorporation, and supervising the existing companies, their branches and branches of insurance firms owned by Arab and foreign companies operating in Kuwait; in addition to government insurance funds.

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

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