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Assembly will cooperate with govt: MP Ma’arafi
KUWAIT CITY, July 12: The National Assembly deliberated on various proposals during its supplementary session Wednesday, as well as the MPs’ response to the Amiri speech that HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah delivered on behalf of HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah at the inaugural session of the legislature.
Several MPs stressed the importance of a practical and clear government program. They said the government’s performance will be the basis of the Assembly’s cooperation. MP Dawoud Ma’arafipointed out that individual work does not yield the desired fruits. He affirmed the Assembly will cooperate with the government in the interest of citizens. He added there is no time to waste on disputes and instigating crises.
MP Falah Al-Hajri urged the government to speed up the completion of its program, which must realize the ambitions of citizens. He stressed the need to amend the National Assembly Law in order to allow holding parliamentary sessions without the government. He also called for addressing the Bedouns issue and to grant them their civil rights.
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for National Assembly and Cabinet Affairs Essa Al-Kandari confirmed that the government is ready to cooperate with the Assembly. He revealed the program of the government will be completed within a few days, including the strategic alternative to the salary scale and the timetable for implementation. MP Abdullah Al-Mudhaf stated that the amendment of the Constitutional Court Law is the basis of political reform, and a way to enhance the monitoring and legislative roles of the Assembly.
He added that educational, health and economic reforms necessitate the issuance of decisions by the government, indicating such decisions does not require new legislation. MP Muhannad Al-Sayer said the State must focus on the reform project, emphasizing that the bills on amending the Constitutional Court Law and establishment of the high commission on legislative elections will be ratified this summer. He accused the government of manipulating the strategic alternative to the salary scale.
He added the MPs will try their best to obtain any information from the ministers, considering the importance of the strategic alternative for the citizens due to rising prices. MP Mubarak Al-Hajraf said the people are optimistic even if this is the fourth government headed by Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf in one year, indicating this could be considered a form of failure. He criticized the government for not issuing any statement about the strategic alternative; thereby, putting the citizens in the midst of rumors spread on social media. “The government should not manipulate the citizens’ feelings. It should heed the directive in the Amiri speech to improve the standard of living. The speech highlighted the importance of protecting the national fabric. National unity has been affected by the attempt of some parties to divide the society and classify the citizens according to their citizenship category.
What could be the reasons behind the delay in filling up vacant leadership positions? The appointment of acting officials is hypocrisy as the latter are most likely to be servile, such that they remain silent over certain violations. Is the government ready to deal with the entry of about 200,000 citizens into the labor market in 10 years? “On the other hand, the country has the best medicine prices in the Gulf. Minister of Health Abdulwahab Al-Adwadhi was courageous enough to reduce the prices, but the medicines ‘mafia’ withdrew many medicines from the pharmacies to instigate a crisis.
Al-Adwadhi deserves commendation for combating money laundering, as pharmacies have become money laundering centers. Efforts must be intensified to fight against the medicines ‘mafia’. It has also been reported by Bloomberg that Kuwait Investment Authority lost momentum, because of the exodus of efficient and experienced officials. The government must have its own spokesperson,” he asserted. MP Mehalhal Al-Mudhaf describes the current government formation as “catastrophic”, wondering why Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense even if the court sentenced him to prison. “We are waiting for the final ruling that could be in his favor or against him; while Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for National Assembly and Cabinet Affairs Essa Al-Kandari was accused of buying votes and investigations are still ongoing,” he lamented.
Al-Kandari responded, stressing the Public Prosecution informed him that he was proven innocent prior to his appointment to the ministerial position. He reiterated that he is not involved in the case, pointing out that vote buying accusation is common during elections.
Al-Mudhaf argued it is unacceptable that the appointment happened while the hearing on the case is ongoing. “Even an ordinary official is suspended until completion of investigations,” he stressed. He also criticized HH the Prime Minister for being silent all time and for the delayed presentation of the government program. He claimed there is no harmony in the government, citing the contradictory statements of the Foreign Affairs and Defense ministers regarding the Durra oilfield issue. He thinks the dispute among members of Sabah Family reflected negatively on all fields. He added other Gulf countries have been moving forward, because they are keen on “putting the right man in the right position; that is, based on competency rather than loyalty.
The presence of royal family members in the government has become part of the problem, not the solution. The current legislature must address this issue.” MP Hassan Jawhar pointed out that the new era should not just be a slogan, so all concerned authorities must exert tremendous efforts to turn the slogan into reality. He emphasized the need to take advantage of the unprecedented compromise between the legislature and government. He said the government must present long and short term strategies, adding it is unacceptable to focus on daily life while ignoring the future. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff
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