KUWAIT CITY, Dec 19: Landing on clear to reach a new stage of cooperation between the legislative and executive branches is needed in order for national ambitions to be attained, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said Tuesday.
The government will present to Parliament its action program in parallel with the state’s development plan, including work strategies and deadlines, said His Highness the Premier in a speech after the new Cabinet took oath before the National Assembly earlier Tuesday.
Addressing His Highness the Amir, His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak vowed to “abide by the oath and rise to the occasion of shouldering the responsibility, as well as exerting utmost efforts to cooperate with MPs so as to manifest His Highness the Amir’s directives for the wellbeing of the state and interests of citizens.” His Highness noted, “Adjusting the parliamentary practice is an objective that cannot be delayed or procrastinated in order to preserve national gains; as pointed out by His Highness the Amir in his speech,” the Premier said.
Principles of the Constitution and the by-laws of the National Assembly, as well as decisions of the Constitutional Court, have established basis of parliamentary and monitoring work; enacting the true democratic practice, said His Highness the Premier in his speech. “These principles would buttress the state’s potentials and unite Kuwaitis under the genuine virtue of respecting the other’s opinion in order to have a pure and vibrant democratic practice,” His Highness pointed out. “We need to rise to the level of the responsibility and raise the bar in face of major challenges; aware of their implications and determined to confront them with all our power to maintain Kuwait’s safety and stability.”
In this vein, His Highness stressed that “in light of Kuwait 2035 vision, the Government, along with the National Assembly, the private sector and civil society institutions, are geared to apply reforms and achieve strategic developmental projects in the sectors of oil, transportation and communication, power and water, education, health, housing and environment. “Also, the Kuwaiti islands’ development project and the ‘Silk City’ project are among the most vital in the plan in terms of the state’s economic strategy that aims to sustain its position in global competitiveness levels and improve outcomes of the educational system and link it to job market requirements,”
His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak concluded. The National Assembly’s regular session started Tuesday with the new Kuwaiti Cabinet taking oath in accordance with the Constitution’s Article 91. A number of MPs withdrew from the session during the oath-taking. As stated in the article, before taking up his functions at the Assembly or at its Committees, a member of the National Assembly shall take oath to serve the country and people. Last Monday, an Amiri decree was issued to form the new Kuwaiti government. The Cabinet took oath before His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah the day after. Today’s session will be dedicated to the formation of several specialized committees, as well as discussing issues pertaining to housing, retirement regulations, domestic labor, economic and financial reforms, in addition to other topics.
Reports on anti-corruption efforts, development projects, Kuwait Airways transformation, the Kuwait- NATO center agreement, and sports investments will also be touched upon during the session. Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim disclosed two hours will be allocated Wednesday for the Parliament to discuss a parliamentary request to strengthen unity, national reconciliation and support for the homefront due to internal and external dangers surrounding the country. Speaking to reporters after the regular session, Al-Ghanim said, “During tomorrow’s session we will complete the final part of the parliamentary debate on Jerusalem and then devote two hours to discuss the internal and external situations, reconciliation and national unity.”
He added, the Parliament during its session on Wednesday will then move to the item of the Amiri speech given by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for the second regular session of the fifteenth legislative session of the National Assembly. He explained the National Assembly resumed its meetings Tuesday after the formation of the government and discussed all the items listed on the agenda which included performance of the new government, formation of the parliamentary committees and a parliamentary request to discuss the issue of Jerusalem.
On the issue of some MPs boycotting the oath-taking ceremony during Tuesday’s session, Speaker Al- Ghanim said, “this is the right of every MP and a way of expressing a certain point with a specific action.” Earlier, a number of MPs including Shuweib Al-Muwaizri, Abdullah Al-Fahad, Abdul-Kareem Al-Kandari, Hamdan Al-Azmi, Naif Al-Mirdas, Khalid Al-Otaibi, Al-Humaidi Al-Subaie, Osama Al-Shaheen, Mohammed Al-Dallal, Adel Al-Damkhi, Mubarak Al-Hajraf and Thamer Al-Suweith walked out of the Parliament hall when the new government members were sworn-in in protest against the government formation. Meanwhile, the Parliament gave its nod to a number of temporary parliamentary committees such the Youth and Sports Affairs, Housing, Human Rights, Handicaps, Women and Family, Work Improvement, Environment and Kuwaitization & Employment Crisis. However, the Parliament voted against the formation of the Illegal Residents (Bedoun) and the Negative Phenomena committees.
The members elected to the temporary committees are: Youth and Sports Affairs – Faisal Al-Kandari, Ahmed Nabil Al-Fadel, Abdul-Wahab Al-Babtain, Salah Khoursheed and Khalil Abdullah Aboul Housing Affairs: Faisal Al-Kandari, Rakan Al-Nisf, Majed Al-Mutairi, Talal Al-Jallal, and Al-Mubarak Al- Harees Human Rights: Adel Al-Damkhi, Khalil Abdullah Aboul, Abdul-Kareem Al-Kandari, Mohammed Al- Hayef, Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, Jaman Al-Harbash, and Thamir Al-Suweit Handicaps Committee: members Mubarak Al-Hajraf, Faraj Al-Arbeed and Naif Al-Mirdas Women and Family Affairs: Abdul- Kareem Al-Kandari, Safa’a Al- Hashem and Saleh Ashour Work Improvement Committee: Osama Al-Shaheen, Rakan Al-Nisf and Ahmed Nabil Al-Fadel, Omar Al- Tabtabaei, Faraj Al-Arbeed and Al- Humaidi Al-Subaie Environment: Adel Al-Damkhi, Abdullah Fahad and Mohammed Al- Huwailah Kuwaitization & Employment Crisis: Safa’a Al-Hashem, Khalil Aboul, Salah Ashour, Mohammed Al-Dallal and Khalil Al-Saleh
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim
Arab Times Staff and Agencies