KUWAIT CITY, Dec 25: The Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM) Bloc, MPs Jama’an Al- Harbash, Mohammad Al-Dallal, Fahad Abdullah and Osama Al- Shaheen, in addition to MP Nayef Al-Mirdas Al-Ajmi presented a bill calling the establishment of a ‘public authority for democracy’.
According to this bill, a public body with an independent legal personality (Public Authority for Democracy) shall be established to be headed by the Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs and its functions and jurisdictions will be independent and impart in accordance with the provisions of this law and no person or entity will be allowed to interfere in its affairs in any way. The bill enumerated some major functions of the authority which include such as:
■ Managing the general elections
■ Setting up a general plan for different stages of the electoral process and overseeing its proper application by all the agencies involved
■ Supervising and revising electoral restrictions and reviewing and announcing these lists within the specified period
■ Appointing heads and members of the committees for registration, elections, vote counting and supervising the work of these committees
■ Demarcating locations of polling stations in all residential areas
■ Supervising the counting process and announcing the results
■ Spreading democratic culture among community members, promoting awareness, importance of democratic participation, encouraging citizens to participate actively in the elections and instructing them how to exercise their role efficiently
■ Spreading the constitutional culture and public awareness in respect of its texts and State laws
■ Receiving the requests for registration of political groups and deciding according to the law
■ Supervising elections of unions and associations under Law No. 24/1962 of the clubs and non-governmental organization and Decree Law No. 24/ 1979 concerning cooperative societies.
Furthermore, member of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee MP Ahmad Nabil Al-Fadhel has announced the committee has recorded observations on small and medium projects Fund. He added, Minister for Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Rawdan has asked for grace period to correct those observations and respond to the commission. On the other hand, Al-Fadhel has some good news for pilots.
He stated the Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) will forward a letter to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to allow the pilots to continue in their work with the same privileges. He said there is an agreement between the committee and the government for the pilots not to be transferred from the KAC to other government institutions.
MPs Osama Al-Shaheen and Jama’an Al-Harbash held a press conference in Parliament and talked about issues being debated in Parliament. Shaheen called for a national debate about amending the election law in terms of the number of votes and constituencies, adding they present a formula of Kuwait Transparency Society for discussion.
For his part, Al-Harbash stated an amendment bill on the citizenship law obligating the Interior Ministry to give two years grace period for those who hold dual citizenship has been submitted but cases of forgery should be dealt with according to court ruling. He added the proposal prevents the government from revoking the citizenship when it is angry about those who hold dual citizenship. He explained this proposal does not permit an individual to hold dual citizenship but requires the government to notify such people that they should do away with either one of the citizenship.
In case of failure the Kuwaiti citizenship will be withdrawn. He pointed out it is not logical and reasonable for the Interior Minister to be the referee and judge on the issue of withdrawing citizenship of politician “therefore we proposed forged nationality should not be revoked unless by a court ruling.” He stressed on the need to correct two serious issues — the withdrawal of citizenship and offence prevention laws.
Meanwhile, Rapporteur of the National Assembly’s Finance and Economic Affairs Committee, MP Safa’a Al-Hashem disclosed the budget of the small and medium enterprises SMEs has reached 1 billion dinars and can increase “but unfortunately we haven’t seen any serious new projects that are supported by the Projects Funds to assist the youth.”
Hashem disclosed there is an intention to present a proposal to repeal the Competition Protection Agency, adding “I challenge the Government as a whole to show what the functions and work mechanism of this agency are.” She explained the committee will ask the Parliament to withdraw its previous report about withdrawing KD 600 million from the general reserve fund to support Kuwait Airways Corporation.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff