MPs to choose Speaker, elect legislative panels

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KUWAIT CITY, Oct 17: The newly elected National Assembly will hold its inaugural session at 10:00 am on Tuesday with His Highness Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in attendance as the representative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The opening ceremony will start with the Reception Committee, headed by the oldest MP, welcoming His Highness the Crown Prince; followed by the reading of Holy Quran verses and then His Highness Crown the Prince will deliver the Amiri speech on behalf of His Highness the Amir.

The session will be adjourned for a while to pave way for His Highness the Crown Prince to leave the Assembly building. The session will resume to discuss its agenda as follows:

■ Presentation of documents related to the formation of the new government as per Article 68 of the National Assembly Law;

■ Constitutional oath of MPs as per Article 91 of the Constitution: “Before assuming his duties in the Assembly or in its committees, a member of the National Assembly must take the following oath before the Assembly in a public sitting: ‘I swear by Almighty God to be faithful to the Country and to the Amir, to respect the Constitution and the laws of the State, to defend the liberties, interests, and properties of the people, and to discharge my duties honestly and truthfully.’”

■ Election of the speaker, deputy speaker, secretary, observer and members of committees;

■ Presentation of decrees issued from Aug 2 to Oct 17, 2022. Article 93 of the Constitution states: “The Assembly forms, within the first week of its annual session, the committees necessary for its functions. These committees may discharge their duties during the recess of the Assembly with a view to submitting their recommendations to it when it meets.” Following are the permanent parliamentary committees:

■ Responding to the Amiri Speech Committee: three to five members

■ Petitions and Complaints Committee: five members

■ Interior and Defense Affairs Committee: five members

■ Financial and Economic Affairs Committee: seven members

■ Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee: seven members

■ Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs Committee: five members

■ Health, Social and Labor Affairs Committee: five members

■ Foreign Affairs Committee: five members

■ Public Utilities Committee: seven members

■ Budgets and Final Accounts Committee: seven members

■ Public Funds Protection Committee: five members

■ Priorities Committee: three members in addition to the chairpersons of the Legislative and Legal Affairs and Financial and Economic Affairs committees Meanwhile, the official website of the Assembly — — has reported that nine speakers were elected in the last 16 parliamentary terms as follows:

1. Abdullatif Thanian Al-Ghanim: 1962 to 1963
2. Abdulaziz Hamad Al-Saqr: 1963 to 1965
3. Soud Abdulaziz Al-Massaeed: 1965 to 1967
4. Ahmed Zaid Al-Sarhan: 1967 to 1970
5. Khalid Saleh Al-Ghunaim: 1971 to 1981
6. Muhammad Yousef Al-Adassani: 1981 to 1985
7. Ahmed Al-Saadoun: 1985 to 1999
8. Jasem Al-Kharafi: 1999 to 2011
9. Marzouq Al-Ghanim: 2013 to 2022

Al-Kharafi ranked first in terms of the number of speaker elections won with five, followed Al-Saadoun and Al- Ghanim with three each.
Al-Saadoun was elected in the sixth parliamentary term through acclamation (voice vote), and through ballot in the seventh and eighth parliamentary terms; while Al- Ghanim was elected through ballot in the 14th, 15th and 16th terms.

A total of 19 MPs vied for the speakership and nine of whom succeeded in occupying the post. The speaker was elected through voice vote six times and 12 times through ballot. Only one minister contested the speakership so far — Minister of Communication Hashem Al-Refaie, but the government abstained and he lost in the election.
Furthermore, the woman who filed a petition at the Constitutional Court to cancel the parliamentary membership of MP Marzouq Al-Khalifa because he was sentenced to two years in prison for participating in by-elections has withdrawn the petition.

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