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Panel eyes citizenship for kids of foreign dads – Bedouns may serve in army

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 14: The government is keen on forming the National Commission for Human Rights, says Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Saleh. He disclosed the chairman and deputy chairman of the commission will be appointed within a month in accordance with the regulations, such as the need to submit the names of candidates to the Parliament for approval. Speaking to reporters after attending the parliamentary Human Rights Committee meeting on Sunday, Al-Saleh said they discussed reasons for not appointing the chairman and deputy chairman of the National Commission for Human Rights earlier. He told the committee that the formation of the commission as an international and legal requirement will be completed within a month in accordance with the law on its establishment.

Meanwhile, the Interior and Defense Committee tackled a number of proposals like the naturalization of children of Kuwaiti widows and divorced women who got married to non-Kuwaitis, reducing the voting age to 18 years old, and allowing the military personnel to vote. Committee Chairman MP Askar Al- Enezi told reporters after the meeting that the Ministry of Interior requested for two weeks grace period to respond to the proposals.

He explained one of the proposals is to automatically grant citizenship to the children of divorced Kuwaiti women or widows who got married to non- Kuwaitis once they reach 21 years old, indicating the naturalization should not be optional. He added 10 MPs requested for inclusion of the proposed number of persons who will be naturalized annually in the agenda, pointing out a formal agreement has been reached with the government to limit the number to 4,000. He went on to say that a proposal was presented to allow Bedouns to join the military, in coordination with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Mohammed Al- Khalid. He hopes for the adoption of the proposal in the next session. On allowing the military personnel to vote, Al-Enezi said the committee will discuss this further to determine the advantages and disadvantages. If found appropriate, integrated laws will be enacted in this regard to serve the people of Kuwait, he concluded.

In another development, some MPs met Sunday in the office of MP Jamaan Al-Harbash to discuss updates about their colleagues who are in prison for involvement in the Parliament building storming case. Parliamentary sources revealed MP Shuaib Al-Muaizri caused embarrassment to his colleagues when he announced that he will submit a complaint to the International Parliament regarding the imprisonment of MPs Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei and Al-Harbash; as well as the arrest of MP Mohammad Barak Al-Mutair upon his return to the country. Sources said the complaint is vague and it has no legal merit. Sources pointed out the all of the government’s promises to MPs in terms of addressing the issue seem to be untrue and considered an ‘anesthetic’. Lawmakers present at the meeting included Thamer Al-Suwait, Muhammad Hayef, Nayef Al-Murdas, Adel Al-Damkhi, Muhammad Al-Dalal, Al-Humaidi Al-Subaie, Osama Al- Shaheen, Khaled Al-Otaibi and Omar Al-Tabtabaei. MPs Abdul-Kareem Al-Kandari, Abdullah Fahad and Mubarak Al- Hajraf apologized for not attending the meeting.


By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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