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Wednesday , June 16 2021

Travel ban on non-vaccinated violates Kuwaiti Constitution

MPs DECRY MINISTERIAL OVERREACH … YOU DON’T OWN US

KUWAIT CITY, May 4: Several MPs voiced objection to the decision of the Cabinet to prevent citizens, who have not been vaccinated against coronavirus, from travelling. MP Osama Al-Shaheen said the decision is unconstitutional, asserting His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled and the concerned ministers should be held liable politically and legally. He pointed out it is reasonable to encourage citizens to get vaccinated, but forcing them to do so is unacceptable.

MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari stressed that whoever is protected from questioning misuses his power. He asserted the government is dealing with the crisis through the issuance of disturbing decisions like preventing citizens from travelling and allowing the return of expatriate teachers although the academic year will end soon. He considers such decisions a violation of the Constitution.

MP Ahmed Mutei Al-Azmi, who filed a grilling motion against Minister of Health Dr Basel Al-Sabah, said the latter is promoting the idea that his resignation will lead to the collapse of the health system. He pointed out this is not true. “In fact, the health system in a number of countries did not collapse even if their health ministers have resigned. Dr Basel Al-Sabah wants the coronavirus crisis to last until Doomsday as he said during a parliamentary session. He wants the crisis to last forever in order to keep the budget open. He is afraid of the collapse of his own system which failed to manage the crisis in spite of the huge amount of money spent for this purpose.

The Cabinet’s decision that is based on the recommendation of health authorities violates the international law stating the individuals should not be forced to get vaccinated. It is also a violation of the Constitution of Kuwait which safeguards the citizens’ freedom to travel and move,” he added. MP Muhannad Al-Sayer wondered how the government could punish the citizens for its own mistakes, indicating the government does not provide the vaccine to all citizens and the waiting list is endless.

Decision
Regarding the paper exams of grade 12 students, many MPs called on Minister of Education Ali Fahd Al-Mudaf to cancel the decision; taking into consideration the Health Ministry’s report that many schools are not ready to receive the students as they lack health-related preparations. On the other hand, MP Fayez Al-Jomhour urged the Kuwait Municipality and Ministry of Interior to close shops which sell hot drinks during fasting hours in Ramadan. He stressed that selling drinks that must be consumed immediately during day time in Ramadan violates the Islamic laws.

He concluded saying that Kuwait is a Muslim country, the people of Kuwait are Muslims and whoever lives in Kuwait must respect its religion. The Kuwaiti government on Monday during its weekly meeting declared a travel ban on Kuwaitis, and their first-degree relatives and domestic helpers as of May 22 if they do not receive anti-coronavirus vaccine set by the Ministry of Health. This came during the Cabinet meeting held at Seif Palace, under chairmanship of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al- Sabah, said Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Dr Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohamad Al-Sabah, in a statement following the session.

Young people who are not included in the vaccination are exempted from the ban, he added, noting that non-Kuwaitis are still prevented from entering the country. The Cabinet during its session on Monday examined interpellation motions addressed to the ministers of foreign and finance affairs, affirming support for the two executives as they “sincerely pursue fulfilling their tasks.” A statement read after the session said the ministers examined the two motions that had been submitted by MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, and Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Economic Affairs and Investment, Khalifa Hamadah.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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