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Safaa Al-Hashem laments chronic lack of quorum

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MP Safaa Al-Hashem

Arab Times Staff KUWAIT CITY, Dec 29: MP Saleh Ashour has announced his resignation from the Parliament’s Committee for Financial Affairs due to the committee’s almost non-existent progress. He explained that he took such a decision due to the continuous absence of committee members, which in turn resulted in the committee’s inability to complete legislative reports.

This came after the Committee Chairman MP Safaa Al-Hashem earlier revealed that she is preparing a letter for the National Assembly concerning the refusal of certain committee members to attend the meetings of the committee, which has been disrupting the work of the committee, noting that the members who have been attending are MP Saleh Ashour, MP Bader Al-Mulla and herself.

She said, if the committee members continue to refuse attending the meeting after she submits her intended letter to the National Assembly, a group resignation will be submitted, rendering the committee without members and forcing the hand of the National Assembly to assign new members.

MP Al-Hashem stated such a situation “saddens” her, as there is a lot to be done by the committee, including 133 legislative proposals, 16 project bills, 128 parliamentary proposals and 64 additional legislative items, adding, “The rate of completion is zero due to continuous lack of quorum.” Meanwhile, MP Dr Adel Al-Damkhi has submitted an interpellation against the Minister of Social Affairs Dr Ghadeer Aseeri. In a press release, he clarified that he submitted the interpellation against the minister because she violated the principle of cooperation among authorities as stated in the Constitution, as well as by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al- Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. Dr Al-Damkhi explained that Dr Aseeri launched her ministerial term by attacking and offending the MPs who criticized her.

She violated the constitutional oath that she took, and denied what was attributed to her, describing it as rumors and fallacies. Such an attitude contradicts her claim of adopting honesty and trust.

In this regard, Deputy National Assembly Speaker Essa Al-Kandari disclosed in a press release that he received the interpellation request on behalf of the National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al- Ghanim who is currently overseas. He said, based on Article 135 of the National Assembly Decree, His Highness the Prime Minister and the relevant minister have been informed about the grilling, affirming that the interpellation request will be added to the agenda of the parliamentary session to be held on Jan 7, 2020. MPs Riyadh Al-Adsani and Abdullah Fahad announced their support for the grilling of Dr Aseeri.

Furthermore, MP Faisal Al-Kandari submitted a parliamentary question to the Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al- Roudhan concerning violations registered against Al-Durra Company for Domestic Labor Recruitment especially its lack of commitment to the prices. He requested the minister to provide him with the prices offered by Al-Durra Company and compare them with the prices offered by domestic labor offices.

Al-Kandari asked the minister if the company has achieved the objectives for which it was established, which include creating a competitive environment in the domestic labor market, or if the company has become interested in making profits. He wanted details on the number of licenses issued to domestic labor offices and the criteria in place for the issuance of such licenses.

In another development, MP Muhammad Husain Al-Dallal revealed in a press release that he and a number of MPs have submitted a new bill on “conflict of interest”. He explained that the observations made against the previous bill by the Constitutional Court were taken into consideration this time. The bill, in its current form, is in line with the Constitution, and closes all doors for attaining illegal benefits, as a way of confronting corruption.

Also, Al-Dallal disclosed that he submitted two parliamentary questions to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Ahmad Nasser and Minister of Oil Dr Khaled Al-Fadhel concerning the recently-signed agreement between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia regarding the joint zone. He explained that he submitted these questions in order to get information about the context of the agreement and the consultations and arguments made for ensuring the agreement upholds the sovereignty of Kuwait on its borders, the public funds are preserved, and the natural resources are used properly.

Al-Dallal praised the efforts exerted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Oil to conclude this agreement, which enhances the sisterly relations between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In addition, an argument broke out among a number of MPs because the National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim received the researcher Ka’abi Al-Ahwazi.

MP Dr Khalil Abul said it was a political dangerous move by the National Assembly Speaker to receive the so-called “Ahwaz Liberation Movement” and honor the members of that movement, describing the move as “frivolity”. He stressed that taking a supportive stance towards an armed movement against a neighboring country which is linked to Kuwait by common interests is unacceptable.

In this regard, MP Saleh Al-Ashour revealed that he called the National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim to ask about this matter, and the latter informed him that he met Ka’abi Al-Ahwazi on the basis of the fact that Al-Ahwazi is an academic researcher and a doctorate holder, and his thesis is about democracy in Kuwait. Al-Ashour said Al-Ghanim told him he did not know Al-Ka’abi is a member of the Ahwaz Liberation Movement.

However, MP Mohammad Husain Al- Dallal said the National Assembly Speaker and the MPs, according to the Constitution and rules of politics, have the right to meet figures and representatives of local and international organizations and currents in order to hear and exchange viewpoints.

He stressed that such an attitude has been in force since the inception of constitutional life in Kuwait, adding that meeting members of some parties does not necessarily mean adopting their ideologies or approving their actions.

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb and Saeed Mahmoud Saleh

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