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Grilling short of no-confidence motion

HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah with HH the Crown Prince, other sheikhs and dignitaries during the graduation ceremony for the 21st batch of officers and 45th group of cadet officers at Ali Al-Sabah Military College

KUWAIT CITY, March 7: The National Assembly on Wednesday discussed the grilling motion that MPs Adel Al-Damkhi and Riyadh Al-Adsani submitted against State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Adel Al-Kharafi without presenting a no-confidence motion.

The two lawmakers grilled the minister about his competencies. Earlier on Tuesday, the Assembly approved the minister’s request to discuss the grilling motion in Wednesday’s session. In his speech during the discussion of the grilling, Al- Adsani criticized the failure of the minister to play his role efficiently. He explained that the minister’s functions include coordination, supervision and strengthening relations between the legislative and executive authorities, but he has not carried out these tasks since taking office.

He pointed out the minister spoke four times only during parliamentary sessions in the last four months and this bodes ill on his position. He said the minister is not committed to his responsibilities including coordination between government agencies, the proposed legislative policy and addressing shortcomings or shortages.

He also disparaged the minister’s absence when the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee discussed the Conflict of Interests Bill. He wondered if Al-Kharafi did not join any other governmental body because some people want to protect him from any grilling or the Prime Minister does not trust him. He described the administration of the minister as “an office, not a ministry,” adding that the budget of this ministry is taken from the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers.

He argued the person assigned to the ministry is usually an analytical MP or a minister holding another ministerial portfolio, but the decree on the last governmental formation gave Al-Kharafi this sole portfolio.

On the other hand, Al-Damkhi pointed out the appointment of Al-Kharafiis unconstitutional and illegal, asserting the minister has neither a ministry nor functions. He asked, “What role did the minister play in terms of coordination between the legislative and executive authorities; especially with regard to the work of parliamentary committees, following up recommendations of Assembly and the imprisonment of lawmakers?”

Speaker Marzouq Al- Ghanim declared the end of the discussion on the interpellation without submitting a noconfidence motion, because only four MPs signed the request.

On another development, Chairperson of the Women and Family Affairs Committee MP Safaa Al-Hashim affirmed the committee is working diligently to finalize important draft laws concerning women, including the bill on combating domestic violence and proposed amendments to the law on housing loan for women. In a press statement on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Al-Hashim called on the concerned authorities to focus on women’s issues because they are essential partners and important players in addressing political, social economic and administrative issues in the country.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff


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