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Wednesday , January 20 2021

MPs mull Dashti absence

KUWAIT CITY, April 28: The National Assembly Office discussed Thursday the request of MP Abdul Hameed Dashti for a special vacation to undergo treatment abroad. National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim presided over the meeting with a number of MPs in attendance.

Earlier, the Criminal Court adjourned until Oct 8, 2016 the hearing on a State Security case filed against Dashti who has been accused of offending Saudi Arabia through his Twitter posts. Dashti is currently outside the country and has been absent from many Parliament sessions.

He is facing charges for his tweets that were deemed offensive to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as such an act affects the relationship between two countries. In his statement after the meeting, Al-Ghanim explained this is a request for vacation pursuant to Article 24 of the Rules of Procedure, not an excused absence.

He disclosed that he asked for the opinion of constitutional experts in written form which should be submitted to the office by the beginning of next week. He added some are trying to depict the issue other than what it really is, clarifying the incident in the last session is related to the acceptance of Dashti‘s written apology which was not supported with any evidence.

It can be recalled that the Parliament had previously rejected Dashti’s excuse for his absences. Chairman of the Legislative and Legal Committee Mubarak Al- Haris confirmed two weeks ago that the membership of Dashti will be cancelled if he will be absent for two more sessions. He explained the Parliament has the right to cancel the membership of any MP who misses five consecutive sessions without a valid reason.

Meanwhile, MP Abdulrahman Al-Jeeran suggested postponing the cancellation of Dashti’s membership until the last six months of the current legislative term in order to hold a by-election which could be marred by sectarianism. He pointed out this is no longer a personal issue, as it has become the concern of international and regional arenas. He argued this will tighten the noose on the freedom of MPs to express their views, especially if their statements affect the deep relations between Kuwait and its neighboring countries such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

He stressed that if the issue is considered a criminal case, breach of trust, State security case or offending the Amiri entity and a final ruling is announced, it will be referred to the Legislative Committee for deliberation on the cancellation of the parliamentary membership. He added the

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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