Experts weigh in on Election Law issues

KUWAIT GRAPPLES WITH IMPLEMENTATION AMID ASSEMBLY DISSOLUTION

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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 17: The dissolution of the National Assembly as per an Amiri Decree could lead to different scenarios in an attempt to protect the system that will be adopted to conduct the elections; considering the recently ratified Election Law has yet to be enforced, while the previous law has been nullified as per the most recent amendment. Constitutional expert Professor Muhammad Al-Fili pointed out that the recent amendment of the law states the formation of the Higher Commission for Elections by the judges after submitting their resignation to be appointed with a temporary term renewable only once. He said this condition made the judges hesitant to accept the appointment as they feel it is not in their interest. He added the judges can be assigned to the Higher Commission for Elections, but this is not in line with the ratified law.

He stated the solution is to issue a decree of necessity on the new election procedures, minor amendment of the new law or reactivation of the previous law. He pointed out that according to the Constitution, the election must be conducted within a few months from the issuance of the decree on dissolving the Assembly. He indicated that at least one month should pass from the issuance of the decree of necessity until Election Day. He said this means less than one month is left to issue such a decree of necessity, so the decree will most likely be issued this week.

He expects a decree including the minor amendment of the recent law, taking into consideration that the government already approved this law. Another constitutional expert, Professor Ibrahim Al-Homoud, commented on calls to limit the right to vote and contest for elections to those who hold Kuwaiti citizenship as per Article One of the Nationality Law, meaning only the original Kuwaitis. “Since there are laws on the elections and Kuwaiti citizenship, it is possible to issue a decree on amending any of these laws.

The people of Kuwait are the people of HH the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, so he will push for more freedoms in line with the global trend,” he added. Regarding the recent amendment of the Election Law, Al-Homoud highlighted certain problems; which makes it difficult to implement, such as the way of appointing the judges who will constitute the Higher Commission for Elections tasked to issue the executive regulations for this law. He thinks an Amiri decree will be issued to nullify this law and reactivate the previous law. On the other hand, the former MPs confirmed that they respect the issuance of an Amiri decree to dissolve the Assembly, stressing this is the absolute right of HH the Amir as per the Constitution.

Former MP Khalid Al-Tamar disclosed that from the beginning, it was obvious that the government was keen on pushing for the dissolution of the Assembly as it refused to cooperate with the latter. Former MP Badr Sayyar Al-Shemmari said he and his colleagues worked hard to push for teamwork at the Assembly and avoid individual heroic attitudes. He added the Assembly proved its success when it cooperated with the previous government, which he described as “serious” and it failed to cooperate with a “temporary” government that was formed to push for the dissolution of the Assembly. Former MP Mehalhal Al-Mudhaf called on the government to complete all the procedures needed for the issuance of the executive regulations for the recently ratified Election Law.

On Thursday, the Cabinet held an extraordinary session under the presidency of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah at Seif Palace to discuss the proceedings of the National Assembly session of February 7, 2024. The meeting reviewed the letter addressed by His Highness the Prime Minister to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on the regrettable proceedings, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Shereeda Al-Mousherji. The proceedings drew outcry from the public and the state, the Cabinet noted, urging His Highness the Amir to make whatever decision he deems proper in response to these incidents, Al-Mousherji told reporters following the meeting.

The proceedings infringed on the sovereign status of His Highness the Amir and transgressed the provisions of Article 54 of the Constitution which stipulates that “His Highness the Amir is the Head of State and has an immune status.” While the Sovereign speech falls in the framework of the parameters of the Constitution, the National Assembly insisted on registering the proceedings in the minutes of the session on Tuesday, which is unacceptable for the Cabinet. Insistence on this offending act constitutes a transgression on the norms inherited from forefathers and the genuine values of the people of Kuwait. The government has made sincere efforts to deepen the principles of action in the program it tabled to the National Assembly in its maiden meeting with MPs after taking the oath of office. In its program, the government showed strong belief in the importance of attaining sustainable development in all areas to ensure a prosperous future and translate into action the Sovereign instructions of His Highness the Amir.

The government has been keen on effective cooperation between the Executive and Legislative authorities to review the legislation in the face of mounting challenges in a way that could serve the interests of the homeland and realize the aspirations of citizens in line with the Constitution and the law. Based on Article 107 of the Constitution and the presentation made by His Highness the Prime Minister, the Cabinet agreed on a decree to dissolve the National Assembly and tendered it to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

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

This news has been read 2307 times!

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