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Kuwait parliament set for marathon session

Three grilling motions likely to keep lawmakers until dawn

Image Credit: Kuna
Shaikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah
Gulf News

Manama: Kuwait’s parliament is set for one of the longest sessions in its history when its members discuss on Tuesday the merits of three grilling motions filed against the prime minister, the social affairs and labour minister and the oil minister.

Speaker Marzouq Al Ganem said he anticipated the debates would run late into the night or until dawn on Wednesday.

He told reporters at parliament that motions would be debated in the order they reached the parliament.

The motion to grill Oil Minister Bakheet Al Rasheed, filed by MPs Omar Al Tabtabai and Abdul Wahab Al Babteen, will be debated first, and Al Ganem said that he expected it to last up to 11 hours. The minister will face 10 allegations of irregularities.

The motion to quiz Prime Minister Shaikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah, filed by MP Hamdan Al Azemi, will follow. The Speaker said it could end by midnight.

On submitting the motion, the lawmaker said the quizzing would focus on Kuwait’s decline in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), financial excesses, the government’s laxity in implementing laws, the non-issuance of the executive regulations of some laws, the revocation of citizenship, the status of the Bidoon (stateless people) and the continuation of the international sports suspension.

The third motion, filed by MP Saleh Ashour against Minister of Social Affairs and Labour and State Minister for Economic Affairs Hind Al Sabeeh, will be last on the agenda, and, according to Al Ganem, should be over by dawn or early morning on Wednesday.

The motion was filed over allegations of the minister’s abuse of the law to dissolve non-governmental organisations and cooperative societies, failing to enforce necessary policies to restructure Kuwait’s demographics and failing to apply development plans to bolster the national economy.

Last month, Al Ganem dismissed speculation in Kuwait that the three motions could mean irreconcilable differences between the parliament and the government, which would lead to the dissolution of the parliament.

“I can clearly and confidently say that the dissolution of the parliament is an exclusive prerogative of the Emir, and he is the one who appreciates its causes and timing,” he said. “But I can tell you, based on the information that I have as a Speaker that there are no excuses or reasons to dissolve the parliament. The allegations being made, whether based on good or bad intentions, about the dissolution of the parliament, are not true. We will deal with the grilling motions within the constitutional frameworks. The session to debate the motions will logically extend from Tuesday morning until the dawn of Wednesday. Life goes on.”

Marathon sessions to debate grilling motions in the Kuwaiti parliament are rare.

On November 27, 2013 the lawmakers reviewed four grilling motions against the prime minister, the health minister, the housing minister and the planning and development minister.

On June 24, 1986, four quizzing motions against the ministers of communication, finance, oil and education were on the agenda of the parliament. The parliament was dissolved on July 2, 1986.

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