- Kuwait Times Extra
KUWAIT: The 2009 National Assembly yesterday failed to hold its first session after it was revived by a landmark court order in June as 43 of the 49 elected MPs boycotted the session. Only speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi and five other MPs, four belonging to the National Action Bloc-Marzouk Al-Ghanem, Abdullah Al-Roumi, Adel Al-Saraawi and Aseel Al-Awadhi-and Salwa Al-Jassar showed up for the session along with several cabinet ministers.
After waiting for a few minutes, Khorafi adjourned the session until next week and did not wait for 30 more minutes in accordance with the internal charter, saying it is evident that there will be no quorum. The speaker also said that if the scheduled next week’s session fails to convene, he will refer the issue to HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to take whatever measure necessary.
Although, Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah and all the cabinet ministers, except the interior minister, arrived at the assembly building, only five of them came to the chamber. They immediately left the building after the session was adjourned. The session was boycotted by both opposition MPs who consider the revived assembly as illegitimate and pro-government MPs who are upset because the government plans to dissolve the assembly and call for polls.
The 2009 assembly was dissolved in December last year following youth-led protests and election was called in February. But the constitutional court on June 20 nullified the February polls, scrapping the 2012 assembly and reinstated the 2009 house. But even after Khorafi refers the issue to the Amir next week, it remains unclear when the decision will be issued to dissolve the National Assembly and call for fresh polls.
The issue remains linked to a potential government decision on the electoral constituency and voting systems amid rife speculation that the most likely scenario now is to refer the two systems to the constitutional court for a ruling on whether the two systems are in line with the constitution. The government is expected to take a final decision on the matter next week after its legal committee meets later this week to make its recommendations.
If the government refers the electoral law to the constitutional court, the 2009 assembly will not be dissolved until after the court issues its ruling. The opposition has warned the government that if the electoral law was amended, it will boycott the forthcoming election. It has launched a signature campaign on a petition making the threat and also calling for the government to quickly dissolve the 2009 assembly and call for fresh polls.
In another development, the controversial member of the 2012 assembly Mohammad Al-Juwaihel was rounded up by police yesterday after he made a highly offensive tweet against the Mutairi tribe, one of the largest in the country. The Amiri Diwan strongly condemned Juwaihel and his actions and vowed it will apply the law against him for threatening social unity. Opposition MPs, especially those from the tribe, strongly condemned Juwaihel and called for taking legal actions against him and held the interior minister responsible for applying the law against him.
By B Izzak, Staff Writer
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