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Sunday , January 29 2023

Deputy Amir nod to Cabinet reshuffle

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MPs MEET TO PROTECT CONSTITUTIONALITY OF ASSEMBLY

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 16: His Highness Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah approved in a decree on Sunday the reshuffle of the new Cabinet led by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

The First Article of the decree detailed the lineup of the Cabinet as follows:

1. Talal Khaled Al-Ahmad Al- Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister.
2. Barrak Ali Al-Shiitan, Deputy PM and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs.
3. Dr. Bader Hamed Al-Mullah, Deputy Prime Minister and Oil Minister.
4. Amani Suleiman Bu Qamaz, Minister of Public Works and Minister of Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy.
5. Abdulrahman Bedah Al- Mutairi, Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs.
6. Abdulawahab Mohammad Al-Rushaid, Minister of Finance, Minister of State for Economic and Investment Affairs.
7. Dr. Ahmad Abdulwahab Al- Awadhi, Minister of Health.
8. Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
9. Ammar Al-Ajmi, Minister of State of National Assembly Affairs and Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development.
10. Abdullah Ali Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, Minister of Defense.
11. Adulaziz Waleed Al-Mujil, Minister of State for Municipal Affairs.
12. Mazen Saad Al-Nahidh, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology.
13. Dr. Hamad Abdulwahab Al-Adwani, Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
14. Abdulaziz Majed Al-Majed, Minister of Justice and Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs and Minister of State for Nazaha Enhancement.
15. Mai Jassim Al-Baghli, Minister of Social Affairs and Societal Development and Minister of State for Women and Childhood Affairs.

Article Two, His Highness the Prime Minister is to inform the National Assembly about the decree, which becomes effective after issuing it in the official Gazette. A total of 40 MPs met in the session hall of the National Assembly on Sunday in a bid to prevent the submission of a petition on the constitutionality of the 2022 Assembly, particularly the Decree on postponing the inaugural session from Oct 11-18 which exceeds the grace period stated in Article 87 of the Constitution.

This article states: “To the exclusion of the provisions of the two preceding Articles, the Amir shall convene the National Assembly to its first meeting after the general elections within two weeks of the date of the conclusion of those elections. While complying with the provision of the preceding Article, should no summoning Decree be promulgated within that period, the Assembly shall be deemed convened to meet in the morning of the day following the two weeks mentioned above. Where the date appointed for the National Assembly’s convention at that session is later than the annual appointment date stipulated in Article 86 of the Constitution, the term defined in Article 85 shall be reduced by the difference between the two appointment dates mentioned.”

The most senior MP, Marzouq Al-Hebeini, chaired Sunday’s session, which started with the roll call of the MPs. The session was adjourned until Tuesday due to the absence of the government as per Article 116 of the Constitution: “The Prime Minister and the Ministers shall be heard whenever they request to speak at the National Assembly and they may resort to the assistance of, or delegate whosoever they wish from among the senior civil servants to appear for them. The Assembly shall enjoin the Minister concerned to attend the debate of a matter relating to his Ministry. The Cabinet shall be represented at the Assembly’s meetings either by the Prime Minister or by some of its members.”

Stressed
Constitutional expert Professor Muhammad Al-Muqatei confirmed that Sunday’s session cut the way for appeals on the constitutionality of the 2022 Assembly and the alleged violation of Article 87. He stressed the 2022 Assembly is now protected against any petition on its constitutionality.

On the other hand, former MP Hesham Al-Saleh pointed out that holding Sunday’s session clearly indicates the Constitutional Court will declare the Assembly null and void for violating Article 71: “Where incidents requiring urgent action occur between sessions of the National Assembly or during its dissolution the Amir may, in such cases, promulgate decrees that shall have force of law provided they do not infringe on the Constitution or tamper with the estimates appearing in the Budgetary Law. Such decrees shall be submitted to the National Assembly within fifteen days of their promulgation should the Assembly be in session, and at its first meeting following its dissolution should it have been dissolved, or following its lawful prorogation. Where the decrees are not so submitted, their force of law shall ipso facto cease, without necessity for the promulgation of a Resolution to that purport, with retroactive effect. Should they, however, upon submission, be unratified by the Assembly, their force of law shall cease retroactively save where the Assembly considered sanctioning their enforcement at the previous session or where it considered settling in another manner any measures resulting therefrom.”

Al-Saleh argued that in this case Decree Five which stipulates voting based on the address in the civil identification card and Decree Six on adding new residential areas to the constituencies will be declared null and void, as well as the consequent procedures.

In a related development, 12 out of the 40 MPs who attended Sunday’s session issued a statement; pointing out the Constitution must be taken as one and all its articles must be respected. They requested for holding the session and then adjourn it until Oct 18, because His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber or his representative is not present as per Article 104 of the Constitution: “The Amir shall inaugurate the National Assembly’s annual opening with an Amiri Speech which shall include a statement on the country’s prevailing conditions, the most important events which occurred during the preceding year, and those projects and reforms which the Government intends to carry out in the course of the new year. For the inauguration and/or the delivery of the Speech the Amir may depute the Prime Minister.”

The MPs who signed the statement are Hassan Jowhar, Muhannad Al-Sayer, Al-SaifiMubarak Al-Saifi, Abdullah Al-Anbaie, Abdulkareem Al-Kandari, Abdullah Al-Mudaf, Hamad Al-Matar, Abdulwahab Al-Essa, Abdulaziz Al- Saqaabi, Mehalhal Al-Mudaf, Osama Al-Shaheen and Hamdan Al-Azmi. Another group of MPs, who attended the session, issued a similar statement; affirming their commitment to the Constitution and their desire to prevent the submission of appeals against the 2022 Assembly. These MPs include Falah Al-Hajri, Saad Al-Asfour, Osama Al-Zaid, Abdullah Fehad, Shuaib Al- Muwaizri, Shuaib Shaaban and Hamad Al-Medlej. Moreover, the Constitutional Court closed the door for the submission of petitions against the parliamentary election results as the period specified for this purpose ended Thursday. A Fourth Constituency voter filed the last petition, calling for the cancellation of the parliamentary membership of MP Marzouq Al-Khalifa who has been sentenced to two years in prison for participating in the 2020 primary elections of Bani Ghanim Tribe. The number of petitions totaled 50. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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