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MPs reject Commerce ‘no-confidence’

Minister of Commerce and Industry and State Minister for Services Khaled Al-Roudhan

KUWAIT CITY, March 27: Minister of Commerce and Industry and State Minister for Services Khaled Al-Roudhan on Wednesday survived the no-confidence vote by 37 to 11.

Several MPs had submitted the no-confidence motion after MPs Mubarak Al-Hajraf and Humaidi Al-Subai’e grilled the minister last week. Commenting on the results of the voting during a special parliamentary session Wednesday, Al-Roudhan pointed out that “it is wonderful to gain the confidence of the public through their national representatives.” He expressed gratitude to HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak, Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim and the entire legislature.

He promised to address the issues that Al-Hajraf and Al-Subai’e raised during his interpellation. He confirmed that gaining the confidence of the Assembly strengthened his resolve to combat corruption and follow the path towards national reform. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent a cable to Al-Roudhan.

His Highness extended his sincere congratulations to the minister on the renewal of the confidence members of the National Assembly have in the minister. His Highness praised Al-Roudhan’s performance and efficiency during his responses to the interpellation and the democratic practice that characterized the civilized image of the homeland, wishing him all the best in his journey to serve Kuwait.

The interpellation points were referred to the parliamentary Public Funds Protection Committee to investigate these issues and submit its report to the Assembly including the comments of the State Audit Bureau (SAB).

On the other hand, Al-Ghanim stressed that voting on the no-confidence motion is an embodiment of the Kuwaiti democratic system, during which all opinions were taken into consideration and respected.
Therefore, the interpellation points were referred to the concerned committee despite the Assembly’s renewal of confidence in the minister, he clarified. In another development, the Speaker disclosed that he, along with the Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation, will be heading to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to attend the meeting of GCC parliament speakers on Thursday. Confirming the participation of all six GCC countries in the meeting, Al-Ghanim said “there will be six flags, six delegations and six heads of parliaments in the meeting slated for Thursday – an indication that the meeting will be fruitful.”

Furthermore, MP Adel Al-Damkhi called for solid action to solve the fake academic credentials issue; especially since it directly affects the future of the county and the public’s trust in doctors, engineers and decision makers. He said he has documents proving that some doctors, engineers and legal practitioners are holding fake credentials obtained from imaginary universities. He added the Ministry of Higher Education confirmed these credentials are not accredited.

He then underscored the need to suspend and prosecute the culprits, as well as to prevent recurrence of the problem. He lamented there is clear evidence yet no culprit has been prosecuted and no official has been held accountable so far.

Moreover, the Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved a number of bills and proposals such as the Kuwaitization of all positions under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Committee Chairman MP Abdulkareem Al- Kandari said the proposal of his colleague, Osama Al-Shaheen, on adding the humanitarian attaché position to diplomatic missions has been approved by the committee.

This proposal, once amended, will lead to the appointment of humanitarian attachés in Kuwaiti embassies around the world, especially in countries witnessing Kuwaiti humanitarian missions. This will ensure smoothness of efforts and legal procedures while serving as an official link between the concerned authorities.

In addition, the committee also endorsed the proposal of MP Nasser Al-Dosari to require Kuwaiti embassies to have at least three legal firms on retainer. These legal firms shall provide free legal advice to citizens who want to invest in real estate, ascertain the legality of all transactions, prevent complications and stop real estate scams. During the committee meeting, representatives of the Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed the Cabinet is looking into the relocation of embassies of big foreign communities to certain areas. This came after the committee asked the ministry’s representatives about the current situation as several consulates and embassies are located in residential areas, considering there are Kuwait Municipality and private housing regulations prohibiting this.

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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