KUWAIT CITY, Oct 26: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah opened on Tuesday the second session of the 16th legislative term of the National Assembly with calls for cooperation and serving the nation. In his opening speech to parliament, His Highness the Amir reiterated the importance of efforts to reinforce reforms and benefit the people through legislative and executive authorities’ cooperation. His Highness the Prime Minister delivered the Amiri speech on behalf of His Highness the Amir. He praised the initiative of His Highness the Amir to hold the national dialogue in a bid to end the political dispute that marred the previous round.
He highlighted the positive response to the Amiri directives as manifested in the proposal of the majority of MPs for his Highness the Amir to grant amnesty to a number of those convicted in political cases; thereby, paving way to a new Kuwait — far from disputes. He pointed out that HH the Amir remains committed to protecting the interests of citizens and strengthening national unity, as reflected in the decision to activate Article 75 of the Constitution which authorizes HH the Amir to grant amnesty. He expressed appreciation for the Amiri initiative on behalf of the citizens. He said full cooperation shall mark the relationship of the executive and legislative authorities in the coming period, affirming this will be reflected in unprecedented achievements in the interest of the citizens. Talking about the agenda of the government for this round, HH the Prime Minister disclosed the agenda was presented in the recently concluded meeting with the MPs.
He said the government received some suggestions and proposals which will be highly considered, asserting the government welcomes all recommendations and ideas that will help in carrying out its tasks. He added the government in general, and the Ministry of Health in particular, succeeded in taking the necessary steps for the country to triumph over the Covid-19 crisis. He cited as a case in point the vaccination of almost 82 percent of the targeted population through 103 centers allocated for this purpose. He went on to confirm that the government did not neglect education, as learning continued while taking into consideration the quality of education and ensuring the safety of students. He said the government took decisions on the gradual resumption of normal life by following proper procedures.
He point out that the implemented regulations mitigated the negative consequences of coronavirus, affirming the government is keen on continuing its reform strategy to overcome the negative economic consequences of Covid-19; including the rationalization of expenditures, assessment of fees for public services, and regulating subsidies to ensure that they are given only to the rightful beneficiaries. He was quick to emphasize that the planned action will not affect citizens with limited income. He added the government has been exerting tremendous efforts to diversify sources of national income. He revealed the government is keen on supporting the private sector, for the latter to participate in pushing the production wheels forward through the coordinated efforts of the executive and legislative authorities. He said the government is also keen on addressing the housing issue, which is on top of its priorities, while spotlighting the efforts on providing security for the State and individuals. He disclosed the State is focusing on guaranteeing the safety of the borders and enhancing national autonomy by providing Kuwait Army with all the necessary equipment, and the most qualified and trained human resources.
On foreign policy, he confirmed the government remains committed to the implementation of the strategy laid down by the higher political leadership; asserting this strategy guarantees the security and stability of Kuwait, while maintaining the stability and prosperity of the citizens of neighboring countries and other parts of the world. He emphasized that the government continues its fight against all forms of corruption and the development of Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha). He said the government protects the autonomy of the judicial authority, which is considered a safety valve for citizens; particularly in terms of helping them obtain their rights. He concluded his speech by imploring Allah Almighty to protect the country, its leaders and its people from various types of evil. The inaugural session started with the recitation of Holy Quran verses, while His Highness the Amir read the Amiri Decree on the opening of the second round of the 16th legislative term. On behalf of His Highness the Amir, His Highness the Crown Prince and the MPs; National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim welcomed all those present at the session.
In his welcome address, Al-Ghanim pointed out the session hall represents the house of the people that witnessed one year ago the citizens’ pledge of allegiance to HH the Amir as ruler and father of authorities and as part of the Sabah Dynasty which adopted the principles of justice, consultation and wisdom. He added HH the Crown Prince gained the trust of HH the Amir at the time. Addressing His Highness the Amir, Al-Ghanim stated that no one can deny the level of dissatisfaction over the deadlock; which negatively affected political work and efforts to solve national issues. He said: “Hope appeared on the horizon when His Highness the Amir took the
initiative to call for a national dialogue between the executive and legislative authorities. The MPs responded promptly to such a generous invitation.” He expressed gratitude to His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid, the ministers and advisors at the Amiri Diwan for their cooperation and positive response during the dialogue. He also thanked MP Obaid Al-Wasmi for his efforts in getting such results, while praising his decision to cut short his overseas treatment trip and setting aside political differences in order to take part in the dialogue. He prayed that Allah Almighty continues to bless efforts towards reconciliation in the interest of the citizens. He added that sophisticated dialogue, roundtable strategy, compromise and continuous brainstorming are the best ways to solve problems. He stressed that political dispute, raising doubts, hurling accusation of betrayal or threats will never lead to fruitful solutions. He said all parties have committed mistakes since the beginning of the first round of the 16th legislative term, which witnessed actions and reactions. He then pointed out that achieving political stability does not mean ignoring interpellations. Opening a new page and returning to the constitutional course established by the founding fathers should be done together to achieve the desired results.
Cooperation is necessary in solving vital issues like health, education, economy, housing and alternative sources of income, he added. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent on Tuesday congratulatory cables to MPs after elections of committees memberships. His Highness the Amir wished them success in serving their fellow citizens and country. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent similar cables. In another development, MP Hamdan Al-Azmi asked the speaker why the grilling motions were excluded from the agenda of the inaugural session. Al-Ghanim clarified that as per the Assembly Decree, he is authorized to decide on the items of the agenda. After consulting members of the Assembly Office, he decided to postpone deliberations on the grilling motions; which will be included in the agenda of the next ordinary session. He then adjourned the session until Nov 9, 2021. Moreover, Al-Ghanim travelled to Qatar along with Assembly Secretary Farz Al-Daihani, Observer Osama Al-Shaheen as well as MPs Abdullah Al-Turaiji, Nasser Al-Doussari, Mubarak Al-Ajmi and Salman Al-Azmi. The visit will continue for a couple of days during which Al-Ghanim will meet HH the Amir of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to personally congratulate him on the success of the first election of the Qatari Shura Council members. He is also scheduled to meet with Speaker of Qatari Shura Council Hassan bin Abdullah Al-Ghanim. They will discuss the Kuwaiti-Qatari parliamentary cooperation and positions in regional and global assemblies, particularly the general assembly of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) which will be held in Madrid, Spain in November 2021. Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Mubarak Al-Harees and Ambassador of Qatar to Kuwait Ali bin Abdullah bin Mahmoud were among those who sent off Al-Ghanim and his accompanying delegation at Kuwait International Airport.
The National Assembly on Tuesday held the inaugural session for the second round of the 16th legislative term; during which MPs Farz Al-Daihani and Osama Al-Shaheen were elected as parliamentary Secretary and Observer respectively. On the other hand, MP Obaid Al-Wasmi was voted Undersecretary of the Inter- Parliamentary Union, MP Hamad Al- Matar as Secretary, Salman Al-Azmi as Treasurer along with Fayez Al-Jomhour, Mubarak Al-Ardi, Khalid Al-Otaibi, Khalid Al-Anzi, Nasser Al-Dousaari and Muhammad Al-Hewaila as representatives of Kuwait’s National Assembly to the Arab Parliament. The opening session also included the formation of permanent parliamentary committees and voting of members as follows:
Permanent Committees Response to the Amiri Speech Committee 1. Ahmed Al-Hamad; 2. Hamad Saif Al-Harshani; 3. Osama Al-Shaheen Complaints and Petitions Committee 1. Thamer Al-Suwait; 2. Soud Bu Sleeb; 3. Al-SaifiMubarak Al-Saifi; 4. Musaed Al-Ardi; 5. Mubarak Al-Hajraf Financial and Economic Affairs Committee 1. Khalid Al-Anzi; 2. Ahmed Al-Hamad; 3. Yousef Al-Ghareeb; 4. Osama Al-Shaheen; 5. Bader Al-Mullah; 6. Shuaib Al-Muwaizri Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee 1. Hamad Rouhaldeen; 2. Salman Al- Azmi; 3. Mubarak Al-Ajmi; 4. Muhannad Al-Sayer; 5. Obaid Al-Wasmi; 6. Hesham Al-Saleh; 7. Abdullah Al-Turaiji Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs Committee 1. Hamad Al-Matar; 2. Mehalhal Al- Mudaf; 3. Saadoun Hammad; 4. Fayez Al-Jomhour; 5. Muhammad Al-Hewaila Health, Social and Labor Affairs Committee 1. Ahmed Mutei Al-Azmi; 2. Khalil Al-Saleh; 3. Saad Al-Khanfour; 4. Saleh Ziab Al-Mutairi; 5. Farz Al-Daihani Foreign Affairs Committee 1. Fares Al-Otaibi; 2. Osama Al- Menawer; 3. Abdulkareem Al-Kandari; 4. Bader Al-Humaidi; 5. Abdullah Al- Mudaf Public Utilities Committee 1. Al-SaifiMubarak Al-Saifi; 2. Hamad Rouhaldeen; 3. Saleh Ziab Al-Mutairi; 4. Fares Al-Otaibi; 5. Homoud Mebrek Al- Azmi; 6. Mubarak Al-Hajraf; 7. Musaed Al-Ardi Budgets and Final Accounts Committee 1. Bader Al-Mullah; 2. Ali Al-Qattan; 3. Shuaib Al-Muwaizri; 4. Khalid Al-Otaibi; 5. Yousef Al-Ghareeb; 6. Mubarak Al-Arow; 7. Adnan Abdulsamad Public Funds Protection Committee 1. Mubarak Al-Ajmi; 2. Abdulaziz Al- Saqaabi; 3. Hassan Jawhar; 4. Abdullah Al-Turaiji; 5. Mehalhal Al-Mudaf; 6. Hesham Al-Saleh; 7. Abdulkareem Al- Kandari Parliamentary Priorities Committee 1. Osama Al-Menawer; 2. Abdulaziz Al-Saqaabi; 3. Khalid Al-Anzi; 4. Nasser Al-Doussari
Temporary Committees The Assembly decided to remove the following temporary committees: Illegal Residents (Bedouns) Affairs, Disabled Affairs, Oil Affairs and Improving Businesses Environment. It then approved the formation of five temporary committees as follows: Housing and Real Estate Committee 1. Khalid Al-Otaibi; 2. Saadoun Hammad; 3. Abdulaziz Al-Saqaabi; 4. Ali Al- Qattan; 5. Fayez Al-Jomhour Negative Phenomena Committee 1. Saleh Ziab Al-Mutairi; 2. Khalid Al- Otaibi; 3. Muhammad Al-Mutair Women, Family and Children Committee 1. Osama Al-Shaheen; 2. Osama Al- Menawer; 3. Khalil Al-Saleh Human Resources Development Committee 1. Hesham Al-Saleh; 2. Muhammad Al-Hewaila; 3. Ahmed Mutei Al-Azmi Youth and Sports Committee 1. Abdullah Al-Turaiji; 2. Abdullah Al-Mudaf; 3. Muhannad Al-Ajmi
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies