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Parliament may extend term to pass urgent laws

KUWAIT: Although the Cabinet did not publicly announce any urgent legislation it could require to confront terror threats, the National Assembly is expected to decide today to extend the current term to approve urgent laws. MP Mansour Al-Dhafiri said he is certain that a majority of lawmakers will agree to extend the parliamentary term, scheduled to end this week, if it was necessary to pass legislation for this extraordinary situation. Dhafiri said that MPs totally back the interior ministry in taking precautionary measures to prevent the brutal mosque bombing from taking place again.

Oil Minister Ali Al-Omair said on Sunday that the cabinet was due to study in its meeting legislation to fight extremism. He did not provide any details. But the cabinet did not announce in its statement any plans to issue new legislation though this could still be done. Dhafiri said that the Assembly had passed a number of anti-terror laws including a law for combating money laundering and terror funding which stipulate stiff penalties. Nevertheless, the Assembly is ready to approve any legislation for any shortcomings.

Special debate
The Assembly will today convene its first session following the suicide bombing that killed 26 people and wounded 227 others. Shiite MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan said he and other MPs will request a one-hour special debate to pay tributes to the victims of the terror attack. The government is also likely to brief the Assembly about the latest developments regarding the terror attack and any future plans.

In another development, head of the Assembly budgets committee MP Adnan Abdulsamad said the panel yesterday approved a request by the government for KD 120 million of additional funding to meet any expenditure under the current extraordinary situation.

He said the additional funds have been requested by the finance minister and that a decision will be issued in this effect from the council of ministers. The funds are needed to buy new equipment necessary for boosting security in various parts of the country following the suicide attack.

MP Abdulrahman Al-Jeeran denied yesterday that members of the so-called Peninsula Lions Brigade who are serving long jail terms for clashing with police in 2005, celebrated after they heard of the mosque bombing. He said that the prisoners all of them have strongly deplored the attack. Jeeran said he was with them yesterday for a rehabilitation test in which MP Jeeran is taking part.

Asked about one of the suspects being a former member of the Peninsula Lions Brigade that fought gunbattles with security forces in 2005, he said this person was released in 2007 after serving his term and was not involved in the rehabilitation program.

By B Izzak

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This article was published on 29/06/2015