Amir of Kuwait dissolves parliament by decree

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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15: An Amiri decree was issued on Thursday dissolving the National Assembly, citing the parliament’s violation of the Constitution. The decree, which cited Article 107 of the Constitution, said the National Assembly had violated the Constitution within the context of using improper terms in addressing His Highness the Amir.

It added that the Prime Minister, Ministers and other concerned parties must implement this decree, effective as of the time of its issuance. It is to be published in the official Gazette.

Article 107 states the Amir may dissolve the National Assembly by a decree in which the reasons for dissolution shall be indicated.

Earlier, MP Dr Abdul Karim Al-Kandari has asked Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and acting Minister of Interior Sheikh Fahad Yusuf Al-Sabah about the opening of the visa for joining a family.

The lawmaker stated in his query: “The State is keen on setting conditions and regulations by well-studied short and long-term plans aimed at attracting competent and expert foreign manpower, while combating the localization of ineffective or marginal workers and illegal over time. This is based on the idea that family stability for expatriates is a guarantee of attracting competencies that the State needs, as well as the necessity to provide psychological stability which helps increase the efficiency of individuals.

These decisions were taken after laying down plans and carrying out studies to control the demographic structure to estimate the number of expatriates who will enter the country, and will benefit from the subsidies disbursed by the State and the services it provides to everyone, in addition to the impact of all of this on the State budget, along with a study on the financial and economic returns deemed beneficial for the country.”

Based on the above, the lawmaker asked:
(1) Has the Ministry of Interior conducted a study on the decision to open the visa for joining families? If yes, please provide the following:
A. The expected number of expatriates who will enter the country,
B. The expected cost that the State will incur in terms of subsidies, health services and other public services.
C. What are the returns of allowing this number of expatriates to enter the country? D. Are there plans to invest in them for the benefit of the public treasury? E. Does this decision have an impact on the State’s plan to control the demographic structure and proportions of workers and nationalities in the State? If yes, please provide a copy of the study carried out in this regard.
If no, what are the ministry’s justifications for making this decision without conducting a study?

(2) What are the principles upon which the conditions for obtaining a family residence permit were determined? What are the foundations upon which the exceptions mentioned in the decision were based?

(3) Is there a mechanism at the ministry to verify the validity of the educational certificates of those who wish to have their family obtain a residence permit? To what extent does this degree match the profession they are practicing in Kuwait? MP Shuaib Shaaban also asked Sheikh Fahd Yusuf Al-Sabah about the Kuwait Army Fund case filed by the former defense minister on Dec 25, 2023; which includes corruption and the allegation about training individuals to become spies.

He inquired if the ministry formed a fact-finding committee and investigation teams at the Intelligence and Security Department, their conclusions and recommendations if the answer is ‘yes’, if the minister dissolved the fact-finding committee and forced its members to retire as punishment, and reasons if the reply is in the affirmative. MP Falah Al-Hajri asked Minister of Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research Adel Al-Adwani to form a committee that will review the contents of a textbook being used at the College of Education in Kuwait University. He revealed that some parts of the textbook contain indecent phrases, which violate the Islamic and social concepts and are deemed offensive to those wearing the Niqab. MP Meteb Ayed Al-Anzil asked Al- Adwani if there are job descriptions and organizational structure for the teaching profession.

If yes, he requested for copies of these documents. MP Fahd bin Jame’e forwarded queries to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil Emad Al-Atiqi about the steps that his ministry and Kuwait National Petroleum Corporation (KNPC) took to address the observations in the 2022 report of the State Audit Bureau (SAB) about the accumulated losses incurred by Al-Duqum Refinery in Oman; which was established in partnership with Kuwait Petroleum International, especially since the losses reached $1.789 billion. He requested for copies of the relevant decisions issued by the Higher Petroleum Council and the Board of Directors of KNPC since the beginning of the project till date, total value of the contract, total value of the variation orders, current economic gains, the expected gains in the next five years, reasons for the delay in the commercial production of the refinery from 2022 to 2024, and the total amount of loans obtained by Al-Duqum Refinery including the interest. On the other hand, five parliamentary committees met on Thursday to discuss their agendas.

The parliamentary committee tasked to investigate the armament deals — the purchase of Eurofighter aircraft and Caracal helicopters — continued its investigation into the issue. The Digitalization, Cybersecurity, and Artificial Intelligence Committee deliberated on several bills. The Women, Family and Childhood Affairs Committee discussed Children’s Rights Law number 21/2015. Committee Chairman MP Osama Al- Shaheen revealed that the representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Higher Council for Family Affairs, Human Rights Bureau, and civil society organizations like Kuwait Lawyers Society and National Society for Children Protection attended the meeting. He said the meeting tackled the implementation of the laws on protection against domestic violence and children‘s protection, affirming that the committee will submit its reports to the Assembly upon completion. He disclosed that the meeting was allocated for following up the public institutions’ implementation of the Children Protection Law; indicating that the committee was informed about the allocation of nine parks for children, hoping this number will increase soon. He also affirmed that 48 minors are under the care of the Social Center for Minors in the Ministry of Social Affairs, while the Ministry of Health allotted hotline number 147 to receive calls concerning children from 7:30 am to 7:00 pm. He added the Ministry of Education allocated centers for providing social and psychological services for children in every educational district, adding that these centers are open in the afternoon to accommodate those who are not free in the morning. He said the committee requested to advertise the locations and work timings of the centers on social media and other platforms to inform all the concerned parties. The Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs Committee discussed the bills on scholarships for masters and doctorate students, in addition to the proposal to establish the Students Fund, and the directive of the National Assembly to determine the consequences of implementing the fingerprint attendance system on teachers.

Chairman of the committee MP Hamad Al- Elyan disclosed that they approved the proposal for the government to shoulder the educational fees, living expenses and health fees of the master and doctorate students once they are registered in any of the accredited universities. The specializations covered by the bill are those specified by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) based on the actual manpower needs of the labor market. He also confirmed the presence of the representatives of the Ministry of Higher Education, National Bureau for Academic Accreditation and Education Quality Assurance, and CSC in the meeting. He added the committee will soon submit its report on the bill to the Assembly for inclusion in the agenda of the upcoming session.

The Business Environment Improvement and Small Enterprises Committee discussed the bills on amending National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises Law number 98/2013. Furthermore, constitutional expert Professor Muhammad Al-Fili affirmed that no article in the Constitution stipulates banning the discussion of the context of the Amiri speech. He clarified it is true that the Amiri entity is sacred, but it does not entail banning the discussion of the ideas and opinions of HH the Amir. He warned that such a ban could negatively affect the communication lines between HH the Amir and the people. He was quick to stress that such discussion necessitates decorum. He pointed out that in case the discussion of the Amiri speech in the Assembly Hall becomes inappropriate, the speaker must stop the concerned MP from talking. Regarding the minutes of sessions, Al-Fili stated that this is a neutral document, which should record details of the sessions. He explained that while the inadequate phrases should be omitted, the MPs’ opinions should be recorded.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff and Agencies

This news has been read 7821 times!

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