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Bedouns should be given priority: MP Ashour
KUWAIT CITY, March 21: The National Assembly approved the bill on the number of people who will be granted Kuwaiti citizenship in 2018 in its first and second readings Wednesday. This came after the Assembly discussed the report of the Interior and Defense Affairs Committee on the bill.
Article One of the bill stipulates that the number of people who will be granted Kuwaiti nationality in 2018 shall be determined in accordance with Clause Three of Article Five of Amiri Decree No. 15/1959 which states the number should not exceed 4,000.
Committee Chairman MP Askar Al-Anazi recommended updating the stipulation on the number of people who will be naturalized every year; pointing out that the current law stipulates granting citizenship to not less than 2,000 and not more than 4,000 people.
He added the Ministry of Interior had earlier promised to naturalize those included in the 1965 Census and those who greatly served the nation, so the lawmakers are now waiting for the ministry to address the Bedoun issue.
On the other hand, MP Nasser Al-Dosari called on the government to implement the bill approved by the Assembly in its first and second readings by naturalizing maximum of 4,000 people; affirming that the number should not be lower than this. He thanked the concerned authorities for their cooperation which resulted in the approval and referral of the bill to the government.
He warned about the consequences of naturalizing just a few persons and then claiming that the bill has been implemented. He pointed out that Bedouns should fully benefit from the bill, so the government must implement it immediately.
MP Saleh Ashour stressed that Bedouns should be the priority in the naturalization process, in addition to those who greatly served the nation and children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis; indicating that about 35,000 Bedouns deserve citizenship. He pointed out the bill passed on Wednesday stipulates naturalization of not less than 2,000 and not more 4,000 people. He said the bill did not specify the number of Bedouns who will be naturalized, although the law is not required in granting citizenship to those who greatly served the nation and the children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis.
Moreover, the Assembly approved the proposal to amend Article Four of the law on establishing the National Commission for Human Rights in its first reading. The bill stipulates that the president and vice-president of the commission should be appointed by the Council of Ministers and it does not require approval of the Assembly. The Assembly decided to postpone the second reading and voting on the bill until the next session.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff