Speaker ‘receives investigation results’
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 17, (Agencies): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah still has the unflinching trust of the Kuwaiti people as he deals with the current turn of events in the country, said Kuwait’s top lawmaker Sunday.
Allaying concerns that the country could possibly slip into political instability, Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim emphasized to reporters that there is no reason to worry given His Highness the Amir’s “wisdom” in dealing with adversity.
A day before talks with leaders across Kuwait’s political spectrum, Al-Ghanim cited His Highness the Amir’s uncanny ability to navigate through hardship.
On growing speculation over the Parliament possibly being dissolved, he said the National Assembly will remain intact until the next elections are due, “unless His Highness the Amir decides otherwise.” Al-Ghanim emphasized that only His Highness the Amir has the authority to dissolve Parliament, dismissing the notion that Parliament appears to have lost some political clout.
Al-Ghanim affirmed taking the necessary procedures in receiving a formal letter from First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah regarding the results of investigation on Kuwait Army Fund.
Al-Ghanim emphasized that the Assembly always refers corruption suspicions to the relevant monitoring authorities and it will never provide immunity to anybody regardless of social class. Speaking to the journalists, Al-Ghanim said: “As usual, I meet you on Sundays to answer your questions that seem too many today.” Al-Ghanim disclosed that he received a call from Sheikh Nasser at 9:30 pm last Thursday informing him about the letter he referred to the Assembly in the morning of the same day. He said the minister explained his point of view and sent him files and documents related to the case referred to the Public Prosecution.
He added that he talked to Sheikh Nasser on Saturday, during which he asked the minister to address him through formal channels and send the documents for the Assembly to take the necessary procedures such as referring the issue to monitoring institutions. He said the minister already sent him a letter dated Nov 16, 2019 telling him that he sent results of the investigations conducted by the committee formed according to two ministerial decisions on financial violations and corruption in the Kuwait Army Fund supported with pieces of evidence.
The minister mentioned in the letter that he put the facts in his hands “as part of your monitoring duties and your keenness to protect public money.” The Speaker confirmed that he signed the letter on Sunday to be included in the agenda of the next session to discuss assigning the State Audit Bureau (SAB) to investigate the issue according to Article 25 of Law Number 30 for the year 1964 on the establishment of SAB.
He also denied rumors that the Assembly received the documents a long time ago but it did not take action, stressing Sheikh Nasser informed him about the issue only last Thursday and the latter deserves commendation for taking such a step. He stressed the Assembly is keen on referring corruption issues to the relevant monitoring institutions, indicating SAB was inaugurated in 2014 to receive citizens’ complaints about corruption because this task requires defining the crime and supporting accusations with evidence and documents. He pointed out that since Kuwait is a State of law, combating corruption should not be through echoing slogans and hurling random accusations.
He consulted a number of MPs and they agreed that the Assembly will not protect corruption, asserting it will not provide immunity to anybody as everyone is responsible for his action and he has to bear the consequences. He asserted this is the way things are done in a State of law, away from irrelevant disputes. He stressed that most MPs do not adopt a partial situation and support one party against the other in any dispute. He affirmed they support reform against corruption, indicating corruption cases are referred to monitoring institutions including SAB and the Public Prosecution regardless of their number.
He said he respects everybody and keeps similar distance from them, emphasizing that he does not support any party against the other. He added the Assembly is not a panel of judges as the concerned authorities will take the decision regarding the case. He reassured citizens while calling on them to ensure everything is in order and that Kuwait is protected by Allah who blessed the country with good people and wise leadership. He revealed the formal consultations will start Monday, urging citizens to wait for awhile and avoid those trying to disrupt the situation.
In response to a question about the information that he is on vacation, Al-Ghanim clarified he did not take leave even during summer and he has no intention to do so now even if he needs to. He asked, “Is it Al-Ghanim you care about or the country to ask if he is on vacation or not?” He disclosed he was supposed to travel Sunday to Geneva on a formal mission to attend the meetings of world parliaments, owing to the distinguished status of the Kuwaiti Parliament and its Speaker to represent the Arab Geopolitical Group.
He then assigned MP Rakan Al-Nisf to attend the international forum on his behalf. He said it is necessary for him to stay in Kuwait to participate in the consultations which will start on Monday. He went on to say that his profile on Twitter never included the title, “National Assembly Speaker,” for it to be deleted as circulated earlier.