KUWAIT CITY, Nov 26: MP Osama Al- Shaheen has suggested holding the regular session of the National Assembly even without the government, considering a number of legislative and supervisory priorities have been pending for quite some time.
Al-Shaheen pointed out there are many vital bills in the agenda of the Assembly and the responses to parliamentary questions must be discussed immediately, while the reports of permanent and temporary committees and commissions of inquiry contain important recommendations and results which must be tackled in the Assembly.
He urged the speaker and other MPs to hold the regular session of the Assembly immediately to serve the interests of the country and citizens. He argued the 1962 Constitution regulates sessions of the Assembly, so it set three conditions for convening the session — right time, right place and quorum which means majority of the MPs.
He explained that the Constitution restricts postponement of sessions; citing Article 106 which stipulates issuance of a decree in this regard. He added it is not allowed to extend the period of one month, the session should not be postponed more than once, and the duration of postponement should not be considered to be within the session round.
He asserted the presence of the government is not a condition for holding parliamentary sessions and validity of decisions taken therein. He clarified that Article 116 mentions this as a constitutional and political duty on the part of the government. He added the Constitution specifies the duties of all parties and punishes those proven to have not performed their duties. He wonders why the Parliament is punished because of the government’s failure to perform its duty to attend legislative sessions, especially since the said article mentioned the presence of the Prime Minister or some ministers. “We have a prime minister who has the ability to attend sessions in fulfillment of his duty,” he stressed.
He went on to say that the 2009 Parliament endorsed the proposal of former MPs Ahmad Al-Saadoun, Musallam Al-Barrak, Marzouq Al-Hubaini, Abdul Wahid Al-Awadhi and Hassan Jowhar to hold the session once there is quorum without prejudice to the fact that all those present are elected members without appointment by virtue of their posts. He hopes the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee will adopt this proposal and prepare its report soon to stop this wrong practice.
Meanwhile, Health Committee member MP Khaled Al-Otaibi revealed that the panel has asked the Ministry of Social Affairs to limit the number of Kuwaiti housewives and those with special needs who receive social assistance in preparation for their inclusion to the beneficiaries of the health card called ‘Afia’. He said the committee’s priorities include expanding the base of the beneficiaries of ‘Afia’ health card gradually and the draft law on regulating the medical profession and rights of patients, indicating the draft law addresses medical errors.
On the other hand, MP Mohammed Al-Huwailah has forwarded questions to acting Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and State Minister for Municipality Affairs Mohammed Al-Jabri about the residential cities for expatriate workers.
He pointed out the establishment of these residential cities is aimed at addressing the lopsided population structure issue, such that the government can control the number of workers entering and leaving these cities. He added the State has allocated six areas for the establishment of expatriate workers residential cities as the problem on the accommodation of expatriate is considered a security threat, especially since many citizens have been complaining about the presence of bachelors in private housing for Kuwaiti families. He requested for updates on the expatriate workers residential cities, the areas allocated for this purpose, their capacity and timetable for implementation of the project.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff