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Late MP’s seat to be declared vacant Jan 12 – Panel following up executive bylaws issued on laws ratified

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 27: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al- Ghanim said the seat of the late MP Nabil Al-Fadel will be declared vacant on Jan 12, explaining the late MP’s obituary was not announced in the previous session because the official documents like death certificate and others were not yet available at the time.

The Speaker further clarified that the announcement and mourning of Al- Fadel’s death in the last session could not be considered a declaration of the seat vacancy based on Article 84 of the Constitution as there was no official document on his death. He added it was unacceptable to adjourn the previous session without mourning the late MP’s death, in the same manner that it was illogical and improper to announce the seat vacant just half an hour after his death.

Most constitutional experts have affirmed that announcing the seat vacant will not be made until the next session and it will be done through the Assembly, not the Speaker in line with Article 84 of the Constitution and Article 18 of the Rules of Procedure.

Once the seat is declared vacant, HH the Prime Minister will be informed to take the necessary steps to hold the byelections within 60 days, Al-Ghanim said. In another development, parliamentary Priorities Committee Rapporteur MP Ahmed Lari said they are closely following up the issuance of executive bylaws for laws ratified in the previous legislative round.

Speaking to reporters after the committee meeting Sunday, Lari confirmed they will prepare a report on these laws, while attributing the delay on the issuance of executive bylaws for the Child Protection Law to its connection with several institutions like the Interior and Information ministries. He is hoping for the issuance of the executive bylaws within two weeks.

On the State Ministry of Housing Affairs, Lari confirmed the attendance of State Minister for Housing Affairs Yasser Aboul to the committee meeting, during which they discussed the law on citizens who sold their houses. He said around 3,200 citizens will benefit from this law – indicating 1,580 applications have been accepted so far and the door is still open for more applicants.

Meanwhile, Minister of Public Works and State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Ali Al-Omair, who also attended the meeting, explained that his presence is in response to the Assembly’s request for updates on the issuance of the executive bylaws for the laws enacted by the legislature. He revealed officials from the Environment Public Authority (EPA), Roads and Transport Authority, and Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) were among the attendees. Talking about EPA, Al-Omair said the authority’s new law consists of 181 articles and its executive bylaws will be presented to the EPA Administration Council within the next two months.

On the Roads and Transport Authority, Al-Omair clarified the law is related to other authorities and it stipulates transfer of some departments in the ministries of Interior, Communications and Public Works. He affirmed the government is in the process of laying down the executive bylaws for this law. On the PAAAFR, Al-Omair asserted the executive bylaws are almost complete as the only items left are those on veterinary medicine which necessitates coordination with the Ministry of Health. On the Ministry of Public Works’ projects, Al-Omair disclosed the plan for strategic projects is going well, “but there are some flaws in several projects due to legal disputes. Some have been referred to the judiciary while others are in the process of referral to the court in order to resolve certain matters.” He said some parts of key and strategic road development projects will be opened soon, whereas the contractor in charge of Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital has promised to hand over the project soon in cooperation with the Ministry of Health for the installation of medical equipment, furnishing and then full operation.

Talking about the new passenger building at Kuwait International Airport, Al-Omair confirmed the opening of envelopes from bidders while talks are ongoing with the State Audit Bureau and other oversight authorities to ensure completion of the required documents. Moreover, Al-Omair said the government has referred its proposals on the establishment of the Public Anti-Corruption Authority (PACA) and financial disclosure to the National Assembly.

He anticipates discussion of these proposals in the legislative session slated for Jan 12, 2016. On the situation of PACA employees in line with the decision of the Constitutional Court which suspended the authority recently, Al-Ghanim stressed, “They can rest assured that their situation is taken into account. We have discussed the issue with the prime minister and these employees will be reinstated to their previous posts with the same privileges.” He added the legislative authority is keen on protecting the rights of these employees, asserting the MPs are determined to finalize the PACA draft law on Jan 12 in collaboration with the government.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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