Speaker adjourns session – Govt absent; quorum complete

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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 7: National Assembly Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun adjourned the session on Tuesday despite having quorum due to the absence of the government, disclosing that the government informed him it will not attend the supplementary session on Wednesday and the special session on Thursday. Lawmakers Abdulkareem Al-Kandari, Obaid Al-Wasmi and Thamer Al-Suwait voiced objection to the decision of Al-Saadoun. In addition, 39 lawmakers issued a statement, stressing the need to form the new government within two weeks; asserting this is part of their duties as stipulated in Article 108 of the Constitution: “A member of the Assembly represents the State in its entirety and safeguards the public interest. No Organization shall wield any authority over him in the performance of his duties at the Assembly or in its Committees.”

National Assembly Speaker Ahmed Al-Saadoun

They called on the political leadership to immediately appoint the new prime minister and form the new government, so the nation does not go back to square one. MP Mubarak Al-Hajraf argued that the absence of the government and negligence of its constitutional duties are enough reasons for the lawmakers to question the government. He warned against the delayed formation of the government, while urging His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to exclude Minister of Finance Abdulwahab Al-Rashead and State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Barrak Al-Sheetan from the new government. He added the reappointment of Al-Rashead will have a negative impact on the financial status of the country.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Education, Culture and Guidance Affairs Committee MP Hamad Al-Matar confirmed that the committee discussed the cheating in exams issue despite the absence of the government’s representatives.

He pointed out that the Ministry of Education’s budget for fiscal 2023/2024 reached KD2.330 billion – the biggest among ministries; followed by the Ministry of Health with a budget of KD1.4 billion, which is KD1 billion less than its education counterpart. The lawmaker wondered why the Education Ministry was not represented in the meeting, while a senior school manager attended and enriched the discussion when she presented her vision and suggestions. He also denied the allegation that the committee focuses only on increasing the students’ allowances. “Although the students deserve the allowance increment, the committee tackles all issues concerning education. The meeting scheduled for Wednesday is for deliberations on issues related to Abdullah Al-Salem University; including the number of colleges, job advertisements, number of students, and cooperation between Abdullah Al-Salem University, Kuwait University and Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET),” he added.

He believes some senior officials and parents or guardians are involved in the cheating in exams issue. He said the thousands of cheating in exams cases in which 40,000 headphones were used entails the need to take more measures , considering that education is the main pillar of the development of any nation. He affirmed that the committee will continue holding its meetings in spite of the absence of the government, which neglected its duties. Moreover, MP Khalid Al-Omaira forwarded queries to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil Bader Al-Mullah about the statement of Green Line Environmental Group on the high level of pollution in Rumaithiya – level four, which is harmful, and that the air contains cancer-causing particles. If this is true, he wants to know the measures taken to address the issue, if the ministry conducts public awareness campaigns for people to know how to protect themselves against pollutants, if the ministry is coordinating with Green Line Environmental Group, if the Environment Public Authority (EPA) installed devices to measure the pollution levels in Rumaithiya and Salwa, and locations of these devices if the response is in the affirmative. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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