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Monday , December 16 2019

MP submits corruption bill

MP Bader Al-Mulla

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 2: MP Bader Al-Mulla has submitted a bill amending the law on the establishment of Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (NAZAHA), specifically the article on the disclosure of assets and liabilities stipulating the immediate suspension of MPs suspected of corruption and prohibiting them from contesting the next parliamentary election until a court verdict is issued.

The proposed amendment states that if a public prosecutor has collected sufficient evidence of the involvement of any MP in a crime stipulated in this law, the prosecution must immediately inform the National Assembly Speaker and the concerned MP while the case is referred to the appropriate court.

The concerned MP is then considered suspended with full pay until a court verdict is issued or the current legislative term ends. In addition, MPs Osama Al-Shaheen, Dr Adel Al- Damkhi, Khalid Muhammad Al-Otaibi, Abdullah Fehad Al-Anzi and Saleh Ahmed Al-Ashour have submitted a proposal to establish a fund for compensating victims of real estate fraud.

Article One of the bill stipulates the formation of a committee, according to the decision of the finance minister, to receive complaints of citizens supported by documents proving the fraud.

Its other functions include reviewing the complaints, determining the appropriate amount of compensation taking into consideration the costs borne by the victim such as lawyer’s fees, and issuing decision within two months after receiving the complaint.

Article Two states that the committee shall receive complaints within six months from the date of enforcing the law and it has the right to extend the period to another six months.

Article Three states that as soon as the Ministry of Finance pays the compensation to the victim or his heirs, the ministry replaces them in taking legal action against the institution or individual behind the fraud.

The ministry will then receive compensation from the erring institution or individual through legal procedures like a lawsuit or amicable settlement. An explanatory memo is attached to the draft law with the aim of discussing it at the Assembly as an urgent matter.

The memo pointed out that the number of real estate fraud victims exceeded 20,000 citizens and the total amount of money involved is estimated at KD 3 billion. Due to the large number of victims the MPs suggested ratification of a law on establishing a fund to compensate these victims – similar to the fund for supporting the Capital Market Authority shareholders who incurred huge losses.

On the other hand, MP Majed Al-Mutairi affirmed that the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee has approved his proposal to allocate social allowance for Kuwaiti housewives.

Along with a number of MPs, he will closely follow up discussion of the bill at the Health Affairs Committee to pave way for its referral to the Assembly for deliberation and ratification. He clarified in a press statement that the bill is aimed at helping housewives focus on taking care of their children.

He proposed granting KD 500 allowance to housewives with intermediate qualification and below, KD 550 for holders of secondary stage certificate, KD 600 for those who obtained diploma from the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET), KD 650 for university graduates, and KD 700 for holders of master’s and higher degree.

Furthermore, the interim government recently referred to the National Assembly a request to lift the parliamentary immunity of MP Ahmed Al-Fadel due to electronic misdemeanor cases number 1340/2019 and 11466/2019 filed against him.

The Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee will look into the request and prepare a report on how the Assembly will deal with it. Al-Seyassah adds: The political circles are awaiting the outcome of the ongoing consultations concerning the formation of the new government.

According to informed sources, the consultations have reached an advanced stage that makes the announcement about the new government formation just a “matter of time”, especially with the significance of it happening before the GCC summit in Riyadh which is scheduled on Dec 10.

They said they are expecting the new government to be sworn in during the next ordinary session of the Parliament mid- December in order to be able to perform its constitutional duties in the National Assembly, stressing that “The fight against corruption will be the new government’s first test to measure its ability to fulfill its promises and interpret the directives of His Highness the Amir and the popular will.”

The sources said the advice received by His Highness the Prime Minister from highprofile figures to wait and not bow to pressures of any kind contributed significantly to the delay in the announcement of the formation of the government.

They indicated that the consultations included more than one MP, and if they accept to join the government, the new government will not be content with an analyst. In the same context, MP Yousef Al-Fadhala stressed that fighting corruption is one of the top priorities that should be adopted by the new government based on the directives of His Highness the Amir, who insisted that there is no protection for those who are corrupt.

He said, “The concept of cooperation between the two authorities varies from an MP to another, but everyone agrees on the need to change the previous approach of dealing with key files and issues, including fighting corruption with the required serious and rapid action by all ministries and meeting the aspirations of the people and their representatives in the Parliament”.

In his role, MP Abdullah Al-Kandari called for a change in the government approach in order for it to succeed in its efforts to fight corruption and hold the corrupt accountable. He stressed that this requires the selection of competent ministers in the new government to ensure good governance of the country. MP Al-Kandari said he believes one of the forms of cooperation between the two authorities is based on the agreement to accelerate the pace of legislation accomplishments and adoption of laws that the citizens are waiting for.

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb and Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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