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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 18: Lawmakers reacted positively to the issuance of the Amiri Amnesty Decree with National Assembly Speaker Ahmed Al-Saadoun expressing gratitude to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. He is hoping that the decree covers all those sentenced to jail for expressing their views. He then implored Allah Almighty to bless Kuwait and preserve it as a country of justice, freedom, equality and freedom of speech.
In a press conference, MP Adel Al Damkhi thanked the political leadership for issuing the decree. He believes this will end the suffering of many citizens who were sentenced to jail and displaced of voicing out their opinions; indicating he got information that other names will be added to the list of amnesty beneficiaries.
He also thanked His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for fulfilling the promise he made during his meeting with the lawmakers that he would continue exerting efforts to push for the issuance of the decree. He affirmed that His Highness the Prime Minister fulfilled all his promises, thereby, strengthening cooperation between the legislative and executive authorities. He said the people’s demands, as well as the political, social and economic reforms, can be achieved through compromise; instead of imposing one’s opinion on others. He thinks the decree foiled the attempt of certain parties and their supporters to instigate crises.
Responding to those who criticized him for changing his attitude towards the government, he stated that he previously dealt with a corrupt government in a harsh manner due to the deterioration and corruption which continued for almost 15 years. He confronted the figures of that era and he will continue doing so whenever they surface, asserting he changed his attitude for the sake of implementing reforms.
MP Hamed Al-Bazzali believes the decree is a manifestation that Kuwait is a country of tolerance – one of the Kuwaiti pillars. He thanked the leaders and congratulated the people of Kuwait, especially the beneficiaries of the amnesty.
MP Khalid Al-Otaibi affirmed that the amnesty brought happiness to the citizens. He said this should be a catalyst for the government to go the extra mile in addressing the demands of citizens. He expressed gratitude to the leaders, stressing the amnesty was beyond the expectations of citizens and lawmakers.
Kuwait’s Cabinet issued on Tuesday a statement regarding a decree granting pardon over the freedom-restricting penalty imposed on a number of individuals in a court ruling. In its statement, the Cabinet outlined the “belief of the political leadership… (in) national reconciliation that brings good to the people of this nation,” labelling the decision “the opening of a bright new page.”
The move is aimed at “stability,” the document mentioned, highlighting that “Kuwait is more important through its children.” “This step will create an atmosphere for fruitful cooperation between the executive and legislative authorities in accordance with the constitutional foundations and remove all obstacles that would hinder development and achievement,” it said.
The ministers also praised “the father of all,” His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, for his “noble Amiri initiative” to pardon the individuals. “This honorable Amiri pardon was issued by the pure will, firm determination and sincere desire of His Highness the Amir,” added the Cabinet. On the other hand, the Health, Social and Labor Affairs Committee on Wednesday discussed the bill on including housewives to the beneficiaries of ‘Afia’ – the health insurance for retirees – with Minister of Health Ahmed Abdulwahab Al-Adwani and senior officials at the ministry.
Committee Chairman MP Hani Shams disclosed that they talked about the reasons behind the government’s decision to return the bill to the Assembly. He said the government thinks the bill will open the door for adding beneficiaries who are not covered by the Health Insurance Law. He affirmed the committee and ministry agreed on amending the fourth clause of the second article to add divorced women who are above 50 years old and receiving social allowance from the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS). He added the committee’s report on the bill will be included in the agenda of the next parliamentary session.
In another development, MP Adel Al- Damkhi clarified that the acquittal ruling on the Eurofighter aircraft and Karacal helicopters case is related to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) that the Ministry of Defense signed with its Italian counterpart; not the contracts that the parliamentary fact-finding committee, which he heads, is currently investigating. He stressed that the committee is keen on finding the truth regarding the contracts.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly Office has rejected the proposed exceptional allowance for the secretary general and assistant secretaries at the Assembly. It also discussed the reports of the committee tasked to investigate the appointment of senior officials and employees in the Assembly during the dissolution period. Assembly Speaker Ahmed Al-Saadoun presided over the meeting with Deputy Speaker Muhammad Al-Mutair, Secretary General Adel Al-Lugani, Secretary Osama Al-Shaheen, Observer Abdulkareem Al- Kandari, Financial and Economic Affairs Committee Chairman Shuaib Al-Muwaizri, Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee Chairman Muhannad Al-Sayer and Parliamentary Priorities Committee Chairman Abdullah Fehad in attendance. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies