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Restructuring merged with PAM … PM grilling off

MPs seen in Wednesday’s National Assembly session.

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 6: The National Assembly, in its ordinary session Wednesday, approved the merger of the Manpower and Government Restructuring Program (MGRP) and Public Authority for Manpower (PAM); while the interpellation motion of MP Shu’aib Al-Muwaizri against HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak was declared unconstitutional.

The report of the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee, which endorsed the unconstitutionality of the interpellation, provoked the ire of some MPs who believe this is another case of brushing aside the authority of the Assembly. Speaking to the media after the session, Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim clarified that withdrawing the interpellation from the agenda is the will of the Assembly as the majority voted on it.

He confirmed there were strong objections to the decision which should be acknowledged and accepted, “but it is unacceptable to offend someone — whether an MP or a legal consultant.” After a heated discussion, the Assembly approved the committee’s report, so the interpellation was withdrawn from the agenda. The opposing MPs walked out of the session in protest against the decision.

Chairman of the committee MP Khaled Al-Shatti disclosed that they invited Al-Muwaizri to their meeting twice in order to include his opinion and statements in the report, but he did not attend.

MP Abdulkareem Al- Kandari, one of those who walked out of the session, asserted that the report is not objective. He claimed the constitutional experts and lawyers invited to the committee meetings are known to be against the interpellation even before the meetings or discussions.

Furthermore, some MPs have been against the proposal of the government to merge MGRP and PAM since the early stages of discussions, because they believe it will take away the rights of Kuwaitis employed in the private sector.

These MPs include MP Osama Al-Shaheen who pointed out that the merger is an unfortunate development for national manpower, considering the proposal was approved despite the objection of 88.7 percent of Kuwaitis working in the private sector. State Minister for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel confirmed during deliberations that the legal and financial rights of all concerned Kuwaiti employees will not be affected by the merger.

She asserted the reservations and concerns of some are understandable; “but the government is not dissolving MGRP to integrate it with PAM, the program is part of PAM.” She added there have been a lot of complications between the two authorities; indicating the alleged loss of 4,000 jobs is due to the initiative to combat bogus employment.

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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