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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 22: MP Mubarak Al-Hajraf has voiced objection to the postponement or withdrawal of the grilling motion he filed against Minister of Finance Abdulwahab Al-Rashead. While stressing that he will continue to perform his duty in a transparent manner, the lawmaker said Al- Rashead must stand on the podium to reveal the truth to the citizens. He pointed out the government should not use withdrawal of the grilling motion as a condition for attending the session.
He asserted the issues must be settled amicably; otherwise, other ministers might be subjected to grilling. He said he fully understands the attempt of Al-Rashead to mix up issues through social media, which only imply he is not ready to face the grilling to prove that he protects public funds and Kuwaiti investments in and outside the country.
Meanwhile, Al-Hajraf thanked His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for the issuance of the Amnesty Decree; as well as the Amiri Directive for the Council of Ministers to complete the amnesty and social reconciliation files. He emphasized the need to refrain from politicizing the Amiri entity, indicating the absence of the government in the sessions slated for Jan 10 and 11 is unacceptable. He added the appointment of the best individuals as ministers and restructuring the government team are the correct ways to ensure political stability and cooperation between the two authorities.
Addressing His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, Al-Hajraf stated: “You have the constitutional responsibility and National Assembly agenda. You must attend the sessions and bear responsibility or resign.” He went on to say the immature attitude of the government is unacceptable, inquiring if the absence of the government can be considered cooperation and if the attitude of Al- Rashead and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Barrak Al-Sheetan reflect the required cooperation. He believes the problem of His Highness the Prime Minister lies in the ministers, not the lawmakers. He added most of the ministers act like employees rather than politicians; stressing that the advice to boycott the sessions until the issuance of the verdict of the Constitutional Court on the constitutionality of the National Assembly election will lead to the “political execution” of the premier.
In a relevant development, MP Saleh Ashour called on His Highness the Prime Minister to adhere to the Constitution, laws and democracy in order not to lose his popularity and the unwavering support of lawmakers. He affirmed most citizens still believe that the Prime Minister will lead them towards development and prosperity, but such trust is slowly fading as the nation seems to be returning to the previous era. He cited as an example the decision of the government based on the resolution of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to suspend the delegation and transfer of officials in public institutions.
“Despite this, the ministers keep on reshuffling, delegating and promoting employees,” the lawmaker disclosed. He had earlier forwarded queries to some ministers about the delegation and transfer of officials, disclosing he will question the concerned ministers if such steps are proven illegal. He explained that the appointment of senior officials without following the regulations is a violation of Decree number 111/2015, which specifies the conditions for such appointments like passing the written exams and interviews and having the required work experience. He added the ministers of Finance, Justice and Integrity Promotion and Municipal Affairs appointed officials who did not meet the conditions. He continued saying that the leakage of information — either directly or through ministerial sources — about the intention of the government to boycott the sessions until the Constitutional Court issues its verdict on the constitutionality of the Assembly election is not in line with the Constitution, laws and directives of the leadership. He thinks the attendance of the government in the upcoming session will define the relationship of the executive and legislative authorities. He argued the refusal of the government to submit pledges to increase the salary and pension of citizens, and write off the illegal loan interest means the parliamentary Financial and Economic Affairs Committee will not withdraw the reports on these bills from the agenda of the next session. He added the ministers subjected to grilling have two options — stand on the grilling podium or resign.
On the other hand, Chairman of the Values and Negative Phenomena Committee MP Muhammad Hayef Al-Mutairi revealed that they discussed Sunday the reasons why family ties are weak with the representatives of the ministries of Justice and Social Affairs. He said the reasons include the high divorce rate and imprisonment of a member of the family, causing lack of communication between family members. He said the committee presented recommendations, such as conducting pre-martial training courses and increasing the salaries of social workers and psychologists at the Ministry of Education.
He affirmed the committee will continue discussing the issue with the representatives of the concerned institutions. He also criticized the way the government deals with the Assembly, calling for open communication and stronger coordination between the two authorities. He said it is unacceptable that the government imposes conditions for attending parliamentary sessions, such as the withdrawal of grilling motions and reports on some bills. He stressed this is not a political way to solve problems. He argued that if a lawmaker files a grilling motion or submits a bill, it does not mean all the lawmakers will support such moves.
He urged the government to attend the parliamentary sessions in order to discuss the issues directly with the lawmakers. He added rumors have spread that Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry Bill is aimed at abolishing the chamber. He clarified most lawmakers just want to amend the law on the establishment of the chamber, not abolish it. He wondered if a bill or grilling motion submitted by a lawmaker could be the reason for the government to instigate crises. He said the government should not be part of the problem, as such an attitude hinders achievements and development. He added Kuwait has become a backward country in many fields, especially infrastructure and education. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff