Manama: Kuwait’s parliament on Tuesday voted 33 to 15 to lift the immunity of MP Abdul Hamid Dashti.
The voting was taken during a closed session after ten lawmakers filed a request based on the sensitivity of the issue and its direct link with a foreign country. One lawmaker spoke for Dashti and one against him, Speaker Marzooq Al Ghanim said, quoted by Kuwait News Agency (Kuna).
Dashti waded into controversy in September after he posted tweets deemed offensive to Bahrain, prompting calls from fellow MPs to the Kuwaiti government to issue a formal statement and to initiate disciplinary proceedings against him.
In his tweets, Dashti, known for his fierce defence of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, referred to political decisions in Bahrain and added that “the invaders of Bahrain will leave,” without specifying the object of his tirade.
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, who was in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, reacted by tweeting that “Bahrain’s respect was for the Kuwaiti parliament, and not for the nobody who attributes himself to the Kuwaiti people.”
The tweets by Dashti, who had made similar provocative statements in the past, landed him in legal trouble.
According to local media, the security agencies in Kuwait pushed for a recommendation to the government to have a case filed against him for his repeated outbursts against a “sisterly state”.
Some lawmakers criticised Dashti for his interference in Bahrain’s internal issues.
“I dare Dashti, if he is courageous and brave enough, to identify who the invaders he mentioned in his tweets are,” MP Hamdan Al Azimi said.
The repeated attacks by the lawmaker on a sisterly state that has very close ties with Kuwait as well on his defence of the criminal Syrian regime should be investigated, he said.
MP Hamoud Al Hamdan said that Kuwaiti lawmakers had no business interfering in the domestic affairs of other countries, particularly Bahrain. “The situation in Bahrain is stable and the conditions of our brothers there are steadily improving, unlike the claims made by Dashti,” he said.
MP Faisal Al Kindari said that the interference of any lawmaker in the affairs of any other country was not acceptable. “It is a shame that a lawmaker takes sides by supporting a sect or a group against the others,” he said. “We want people to support unity and we lawmakers in Kuwait should assume our responsibilities fully in representing Kuwaitis who are known for their love for their Gulf and Arab brothers,” he said.