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NO-SHOW ASSEMBLY ADJOURNED … RESIGNATION TO CROWN PRINCE
KUWAIT CITY, Jan 24: National Assembly Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun on Tuesday adjourned the session with 38 lawmakers in attendance. According to Al-Saadoun, he received a call from State Minister for National Assembly, Housing and Urban Development Affairs Ammar Al-Ajmi on Tuesday morning, stating that he thinks the government would not attend the session. He then informed Al- Ajmi that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Barrak Al-Shiitan called him after Asr prayer on Monday, informing him that His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was on his way to submit the resignation of the government but he did not talk about attending the session.
He told Al-Shiitan that Tuesday’s session would push through and asked him to send an excuse letter for not attending the session, but the latter did not do so. Therefore, Al-Saadoun adjourned the session until Wednesday. MPs Muhannad Al-Sayer, Abdulkareem Al-Kandari and Hamdan Al-Azmi called for a discussion on holding the session without the government; but Al- Saadoun went ahead with the postponement of the session. Meanwhile, MP Khalid Al-Tamar commented on the resignation of the government, stating everyone is inquiring about the reason behind the resignation.
He pointed out that if any of the ministers is not capable of facing the grilling, the government should have put the ‘untouchable’ mark on him. He argued a capable minister is happy to face the grilling as it is a chance for him to disprove the accusations and showcase his abilities. He stressed that lawmakers have the right to file grilling motions as per Article 100 of the Constitution, indicating the tasks of lawmakers include monitoring the performance of the government and ratifying laws in the interest of citizens.
He said the government failed to conclude discussions on bills submitted by lawmakers within more than four months although most of the bills are aimed at easing the burdens of citizens, which is part of its program. “The government is separated from the citizens. Apparently, it does not feel the deterioration of basic services including education, health and housing,” he asserted.
He hopes the next government will fully cooperate with the lawmakers, warning that the strategy of intimidating lawmakers through calls for dissolution of the legislature will never work. He pointed out that in case this Assembly is dissolved, another one will be elected and the new lawmakers will also submit bills in the interest of citizens. “The Assembly will be dissolved, simply because the government is not concerned about the citizens’ interests,” he concluded. MP Alyaa Al-Khalid addressed His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah; stating “the lawmakers trusted your government. However, it is illogical to be optimistic about a government in which one minister works against his colleague, instead of focusing on the welfare of citizens.
The country is living one of its worst eras, considering the squandering of public funds and adopting policies without conducting feasibility studies.” She said the issue of cheating in the exams of grade 12 students was referred to the Public Prosecution, asserting this happened due to the negligence of officials tasked to manage education but the government remained silent. She attributed the deterioration of education to administrative corruption, which continued for years; in addition to the poor conditions of roads. She cited the report of the Public Facilities Committee in 2017, including the reasons behind such deterioration and recommendations to address the issue.
“The legislative and executive authorities failed to address the problem due to administrative corruption and policies aimed at granting privileges to certain individuals without any regard for the interest of the public,” she added. She asked His Highness the Prime Minister if he is aware of the power crisis that the country will most probably face this summer and will continue until 2024; and that the reason is the decision of the Planning Committee at the Ministry of Electricity and Water to depend on the Gulf power link, which is not sustainable. She suggested that the radical solution is the appointment of competent ministers who can take decisive steps and remain strong in the midst of challenges.
MP Abdulwahab Al-Essa said the decision of the government to suspend the exceptional salaries will not change the fact that the ministers, whose tenure lasted for only 100 days, will receive a monthly salary of KD 9,000 forever. He emphasized the need to cancel Article 80 of the Social Security Law in order to end the manipulation of public funds due to the erroneous implementation of this article. Al-Essa is one the lawmakers who submitted the bill on the cancellation of the article; along with MPs Muhannad Al-Sayer, Hassan Jawhar, Abdullah Al-Mudaf and Abdulkareem Al-Kandari. Al-Sayer also stated this article must be cancelled as it resulted in the squandering of public funds amounting to KD4 billion within 10 years, adding this amount would have been enough to solve perennial issues. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff