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Sunday , September 26 2021

Legislator faults Speaker for Assembly chaos

National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 20: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim is first and foremost responsible for the incident in the Assembly last Tuesday as he is in charge of managing parliamentary sessions, says MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri.

In a press statement, Al-Muwaizri pointed out that Al-Ghanim appeared to have expected the incident and wished it to happen. He said everybody noticed that everything was planned; indicating there were more security guards assigned on the left side of the podium than on the other side.

When the visitors on the right side started to insult and attack the MPs, Al-Ghanim did not take action; but when the security guards dealt with the visitors on the left side harshly, he did not instruct them to stop, the MP disclosed.

Al-Muwaizri added that he and other MPs approached security officer Bader Al-Mutawa’a who was on the left side and asked him to instruct the guards to refrain from using force in dealing with the visitors. Al-Ghanim then looked towards the right side and asked the guards not hurt the visitors.

Al-Ghanim should have adjourned the session for 30 minutes and then instructed the guards to guide the visitors out of the session hall. He should have cited Article 86 of the National Assembly Decree to call the attention of the MP who caused trouble and if the latter did not respond, he should have sought the opinion of other MPs.

If the erring MP continues to make trouble, he must be asked to leave the session hall, Al-Muwaizri asserted. He stressed the Speaker would have nipped the problem in the bud if he responded to the request of MP Dr Adel Al-Damkhi to withdraw the general amnesty draft law from the agenda as per Article 109 of the Assembly Decree.

He asserted Al-Ghanim or anyone for that matter has no right to say to anyone: “This man is nobler than you,” as he told MP Thamer Al-Suwait in defense of Secretary-General Allam Al-Kandari.

In addition, Al-Muwaizri asked HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid about his opinion on the verdict of the Court of Cassation against Minister of Electricity and Water Muhammad Bu Shehri; wondering if the latter will remain in his post.

Meanwhile, Rapporteur of the parliamentary committee tasked to investigate the Airbus deal with Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) MP Saleh Al-Ashour said the committee held its first meeting with Chairman MP Dr Bader Al-Mullah and member MP Khalil Al-Saleh in attendance.

He affirmed the committee has been instructed to investigate all issues concerning KAC such as the alleged illegal appointments and discrimination between expatriate and national employees, among many others.

He added the committee will also look into the AU400 aircraft deal and leasing contracts in which financial and administrative violations were uncovered. On the other hand, member of the Handicapped Affairs Committee MP Khalil Al-Saleh confirmed the committee has reached an agreement with the government to exempt disabled employees from the Social Security and Retirement laws.

He said a disabled employee will receive full pension – KD 2,750 maximum – if he has been in service for 10 years or more regardless of his age upon retirement.

In another development, MP Dr Adel Al-Damkhi has submitted queries to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ahmed Mansour Al-Hamad Al-Sabah on the following:
■ Reason for reducing the number of Puma and Super Puma helicopters from 13 to 10 and then five
■ Reason for increasing the number of Caracal helicopters from 12 to 24 and if the need for this number of helicopters is urgent considering there are helicopters at the National Guard and ministries of Interior and Health
■ If the Caracal helicopters were tested during summer in Kuwait – around July – as pointed out by the State Audit Bureau (SAB) while reviewing the relevant contracts
■ Reasons why the ministry did not use its C-17 aircraft to transport the Caracal helicopters
■ Manner of shipping the Caracal helicopters to Kuwait as per the contract – by sea or air He also requested the minister to provide him with copies of the shipment insurance form if any, reports of Kuwaiti pilots who were on board the helicopter when the technical errors occurred, and report of the technical committee assigned by the ministry to look into the technical errors according to the statement issued on Feb 12, 2020.

He added Al-Jarida daily published a report on Feb 16, 2020 stating that the American court endorsed the settlement agreement between the USA and Airbus in which Kuwait is mentioned.

According to the report, Airbus sought the help of a Lebanese consultant who served as broker from 1996 to 2016 for Kuwait to purchase the aircraft because he has relations with incumbent and former Kuwaiti senior offi- cials.

Airbus paid 800,000 euros to the Lebanese consultant for the deal signed with Kuwait, the lawmaker revealed. He added this was repeated with a French broker who owns a company in Lebanon and used his bank account to transfer the commissions he received (1.4 million euros) from a number of deals including the one signed with Kuwait. He asked if the ministry has started investigating these two incidents.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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