KUWAIT CITY, Jan 16: MP Majed Musah presented a bill on amending the Election Law in order to reduce the voting age from 21 years old to 18. He said Law Number 35/1962 on electing National Assembly members deprives a number of citizens of their suffrage right due to the current age requirement. He disclosed his proposal includes a stipulation allowing members of the Armed Forces and police officers to vote and stand for election, similar to their counterparts in the National Guard or any other citizen.
In another development, MP Abdulkarim Al-Kandari said he is collecting signatures of lawmakers on a request for a special parliamentary session to discuss the danger posed by the rising number of expatriates and its impact on the demographic structure. He suggested holding the special session in February, hoping the government will play its role in addressing the population issue. Furthermore, Minister of Information and State Minister for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah said he is ready to face the interpellation on the sports issue, pointing out he will seize this opportunity to clarify the issue. This came after MPs Waleed Al- Tabtabaei, Abdulwahab Al-Babtain and Al-Humaidi Al-Subaiei submitted a grilling request against the minister.
They accused the minister of committing several mistakes including the suspension of Kuwait’s participation in international sports activities, wastage of public funds, serving personal interests in the State Ministry for Youth Affairs, financial and administrative irregularities in the Ministry of Information, ignoring press freedom and prosecuting bloggers.
In a press statement, Sheikh Al- Humoud asserted, “Interpellation is the constitutional right of any lawmaker. We are doing our work in accordance with the Constitution which has the final say on such issues.” Asked if he thinks that the interpellation is politically motivated and what could be its repercussions, Sheikh Al- Humoud pointed out it is still early to make speculations. “We received the grilling request and we are now studying its constitutional, legal and regulatory aspects,” he added.
Meanwhile, MP Riyadh Al-Adsani has announced his plan to submit a bill on preventing conflicts of interest in filling up the legislative vacuum and stopping those who serve personal interests through oversight and legislative works. He explained the bill, once approved, will be enforced on all public officials. He disclosed the objectives of the proposal include preventing the swelling of lawmakers’ bank accounts as it happened in the multimillion deposit scandal. He added the bill prohibits public officials from receiving cheques, donations or gifts, and stipulates separation of personal interests from public interests.
On the other hand, Al-Adsani has forwarded questions to Minister of Electricity, Water and Oil Essam Marzouq about the new electricity and water charges. He said it has been reported that the Ministry of Electricity and Water formed a committee tasked to study the new electricity and water charges. He wants to know if it is true that these new fees will lead to unjustified increase in the prices of goods and services. He also requested for a copy of the committee’s study.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff