MP EMPHASIZES JOB GROWTH IN BID FOR COMPETITIVENESS
KUWAIT CITY, Nov 23: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah late Thursday underscored the significant role of the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry under the current critical circumstances in the region.
Addressing an emotional farewell ceremony held at the ministry, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled said these exceptional regional conditions necessitate national unity and concerted efforts as well as the need to favor national interests.
He added that the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry and its senior officials shoulder a major responsibility for addressing swift changes in the region by delivering a message of moderation which is the basis of the country’s foreign policy.
He seized the opportunity to expound on his career at the ministry and to laud the great efforts of its staff to promote Kuwait’s regional and international position.
Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled said he was so proud of Kuwait’s highly reputed and internationally recognized and appreciated diplomacy. On his part, Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah congratulated Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled on having been chosen as Prime Minister, hailing his great efforts as the country’s top diplomat.
He wished the new prime the best of luck in his new duty under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah and His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. He also commended Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled’s great efforts that gained Kuwaiti diplomacy much appreciation and accreditation at both regional and international levels.
His Highness the Prime Minister received Thursday cables of congratulations from a number of senior leaders and dignitaries including President of the National Guard His Highness Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah, the National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim and His Highness Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
In their cables, they congratulated him on the new position and the assignment to form a new government, and expressed their best wishes for the new premier to form the new government and work on serving the people of Kuwait under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah.
His Highness the Prime Minister also received cables of congratulations from the former prime minister His Highness Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah as well as from the Vice-President of the National Guard Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
They congratulated him on the new post and wished him the success in forming the new government and working on serving the people of Kuwait under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
Meanwhile, it has become certain that the National Assembly is unable to hold its ordinary session slated for this Tuesday due to the resignation of the government. Also, the new Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid, is yet to form a new government.
In this regard, legal sources are emphasizing on the constitutional controversy regarding article (116), which stipulates that Government needs to be represented in the parliamentary sessions by the head of government or some of its cabinet members.
The sources are expecting nine new faces in the new government, and information from sources privy to the issue affirmed that five members of the resigned cabinet have expressed their intention to continue in the new government which is expected to be ready in the course of the week. Concerning the constitutional predicament, there are opposing views in regard to the government determining the validity of the Parliament’s session.
The same sources indicated lack of a constitutional text specifying a deadline for the formation of the new government, except those that come after the parliamentary elections in two weeks. This is a valid reason for the formation of a new government provided that the current (caretaker) government acts on the basis of urgent matters only.
“The delay in forming a new government puts individual and structural decisions of the “caretaker” government under the authority, and there is a possibility to appeal its decisions at the administrative and constitutional courts, especially the portfolio of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is currently vacant. This increases pressure on the Prime Minister to quickly select his ministers, even if there are no punitive constitutional measures against the government for delay.
In the same context, parliamentary sources revealed that a minister carrying a portfolio on an interim basis attended a previous meeting of a parliamentary committee in which he stressed that he would not give any opinion on the proposals put forward, as the new minister may come to change everything said at the meeting.
In his role, MP Saadoun Hammad noted the MPs have no power to demand the appointment of any person to the post of Prime Minister, and anyone who says otherwise does not know the parliamentary standing orders and the Constitution.
MP Ahmed Al-Fadel has announced that several draft laws will be submitted soon to ease procedures and allow authorities to impose penalties on those proven to have violated the Commercial Competition Protection Law in a bid to bolster private businesses for Kuwaiti young adults.
He affirmed this directive will pave way for citizens to establish their own businesses in profitable fields such as fast-moving consumer goods, instead of working in the public sector, especially if the field lacks development and considering that about three million expatriates use these goods. He also warned the absence of practical solutions will exacerbate the unemployment issue which “will explode within the next five years if left unsolved.”
He said 8,800 graduates applied for jobs in the public sector recently but only 5,000 were hired; hence, more than 3,000 remain unemployed and this number will increase every year until the problem gets out of hand. He added many other problems require immediate attention such as inflation and increasing prices of goods, pointing out that official statistical reports on inflation do not reflect the reality.
He intends to find solutions starting with cooperative societies and the farmers market as he believes it is possible to decrease the prices of goods by five percent without harming farmers and vendors. He explained his intention to address cooperative societies is aimed at encouraging competition without harming the concerned parties or the quality of services and goods. He admitted this is a daunting task as it requires the cooperation and commitment of numerous authorities and concerned officials.
One of the most important issues with cooperative societies is the monopolization of 22 companies over certain goods and their legal protection from cooperatives. The MP thinks this issue stems from the Commercial Sponsorship and Dealer Law, but it could boil down to certain complications which can be addressed easily.
On the other hand, Al-Fadel stressed the need for HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled to lay down a clear and practical plan for the upcoming stage in the local political scene. He said a clear vision must be in place for the chosen ministers to understand, digest and carry out without disruption.
Asked about some MPs threatening to grill the incoming government in case some former ministers return to the executive authority, Al-Fadel stressed such threats are nothing but media stunts aimed at destabilizing the Parliament with the hope for early elections. He said it has nothing to do with the names of ministers and the rest of the parliamentarians will not allow the minority to control the future of the legislature. “If they seek early elections, we seek stability and parliamentary progress,” he concluded.
By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb, Raed Yousef and Agencies