Tuesday , October 17 2017

‘Present clear vision to address lop-sided population structure’

MPs engaged in a heated argument during Wednesday’s parliamentary session

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 1: Chairman of the parliamentary Legislative Affairs Committee MP Mohamed Al-Dalal has asked the government to present a clear vision to address the lopsided population structure issue, affirming that MPs have the right to demand and look for solutions to population related problems like the rising number of marginal workers and visa traders. He confirmed that the Parliament will hold a special session on Thursday to discuss these issues, including the need to balance the population structure without harming the expatriates.

He emphasized the need to confront visa traders because change is possible only if the lopsided population structure issue is addressed. He pointed out this project must be implemented in a more organized manner in order to protect expatriates, especially those living with their families here.

Meanwhile, Parliament speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim adjourned Wednesday’s regular session due to lack of quorum. Taking decisions during parliamentary sessions require the presence of at least 33 members. Items in the agenda of the session include the request to lift the immunity of MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei.

Al-Ghanim adjourned the session until Feb 14, 2017 adding that Thursday’s special session will be for the lopsided population structure issue and another special session is slated for next Wednesday to vote on the no-confidence motion against Minister of Information and State Minister for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah.

Commenting on the lack of quorum in Wednesday’s session, Al-Dalal claimed the session was adjourned due to the behavior of MPs. He pointed out they were supposed to discuss a number of important issues such as the request to lift immunity, response to the Amiri address, government program and economic document. He claimed some MPs hurled baseless accusations at the Legislative Committee whose tasks include reviewing a request to lift immunity to ensure there is no conspiracy to prevent the concerned lawmaker from performing his duties.

Explaining what happened in the previous Parliament, he said the committee’s tasks include reviewing the request to lift immunity, listening to the views of the concerned lawmaker and submitting a report to the legislature. He added, “We discussed the request to lift the immunity of Al-Tabtabaei. Members agreed on the urgency of the matter which was debated in the presence of Al-Tabtabaei so there was no malicious intent. Due to the sensitivity of the issue, the committee did not mention details in its report.

The same happened in 2014 with the report on the request to lift the immunity of MP Sadoun Al-Otaibi yet the latter is now opposing the rule. This was also the case with the request to lift the immunity of former MP Abdulhameed Dashti but no one voiced objection at the time.” He then unveiled his plan to refer these issues to the Parliament Office to prevent anyone from turning them into personal conflicts, asserting this might require amendment of parliamentary bylaws. He went on to say the speaker took the right decision with the adjournment of the session due to lack of quorum, alleging some MPs are trying to take revenge and embarrass Al-Tabtabei. In another development, Al-Tabtabaei said the prime minister will be next person to face grilling if no step is taken regarding increase in the prices of petrol and electricity. He underscored the need for the government to prioritize the price hike issue, otherwise, it will be held accountable.

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