KUWAIT CITY, Dec 13: The Secretariat General of the National Assembly on Sunday organized an orientation program for the newly elected lawmakers.
The newly elected lawmakers were briefed on the administrative and technical issues that they will deal with throughout their tenure, work mechanism of parliamentary committees, and media services provided to lawmakers. Secretary General Allam Al-Kandari affirmed the Secretariat General is keen on easing the work of MPs and to support them in carrying out their tasks properly.
Meanwhile, MP-elect Hamad Saif Al-Harshani visited Abdullah Al-Salem Hall on Sunday to check preparations for the opening session slated for Tuesday. He will chair the opening session as he is the oldest among the newly elected lawmakers. With less than 48 hours before the opening session for the 16th parliamentary term, debates on electing the new speaker are still ongoing.
The MPs-elect want to make voting for the Speaker public to ensure compliance with the agreement to vote for MP-elect Bader Al-Humaidi, but this contradicts the legal opinion on holding the election secretly.
Constitutional expert Muhammad Al-Fili clarified that even if the Constitution includes stipulations on organizing the election of Speaker; it has no provision stating that voting must be public.
He was quick to point out though that Article 35 of the National Assembly Decree mandates voting secretly. Based on this legal fact, public voting is considered illegal and it could lead to petitions against the results, he added.
In another development, a number of MPs-elect including Muhammad Al-Mutair, Khalid Al-Otaibi, Fares Saad Al-Otaibi and Badr Al-Dahoum disclosed that they will not cooperate with His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled if he ignores the public demand refl ected in the vision of 42 MPs-elect to change the Speaker.
Traditionally, voting for the Speaker has been done secretly since the beginning of the Kuwaiti parliamentary life.
Following are the eight citizens who served as Assembly Speakers since 1963:
■ Abdulaziz Hamad Al-Saqr – one term from 1963 to 1965
■ Soud Abdulaziz Abdulrazeq – one term from 1965 to 1967
■ Ahmed Zaid Al-Sarhan – one term from 1967 to 1970
■ Khalid Saleh Al-Ghunaim – two terms from 1971 to 1981
■ Muhammad Yousef Al- Adasani – one term from 1981 to 1985
■ Ahmed Abdulaziz Al- Saadoun – three terms from 1985 to 1999
■ Jassem Al-Khorafi– five terms from 1999 to 2011
■ Marzouq Al-Ghanim – two terms from 2013 to 2020