Disagreement brewing as MPs prepare to discuss court ruling’s aftermath

Lawmaker calls for meeting with Amir to ask for amnesty

 

KUWAIT: Disagreement is brewing amongst lawmakers prior to a meeting MP Mohammed Al-Mutair has called for at his diwaniya tomorrow to discuss taking accelerated measures in protest of a ruling by the court of cassation sentencing those who broke into the parliament, including MPs Waleed Al-Tabtabaei and Jamaan Al-Harbash, to prison, well-informed sources said.

Around 14 lawmakers, including Shuaib Al-Mowaizri, Mohammed Hayef, Abdulwahab Al-Babtain and the host Mutair will attend the meeting, the sources said, pointing out that these MPs proposed submitting collective resignations that would lead to dissolving the current parliament, urging the government to issue a general amnesty or grilling and deposing His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah.

Further, the sources said that members of the ’26 bloc’ which was formed at the beginning of this parliament’s tenure, including the four MPs in addition to Tabtabaei and Harbash, see that resigning will not be fruitful because it would cost MPs their parliamentary positions which they can use instead to apply more pressure. The sources also noted that the head of the parliamentary legislative committee and the attorney who defended the defendants in the case of breaking into the parliament, MP Al-Humaidi Al-Subaei, will head the committee’s meeting tomorrow to prepare a report on how to react to Tabtabaei and Harbash’s memberships after they were sentenced to three years and six months in prison. “Subaei will argue that both MPs took part to demand reform and not for criminal reasons,” the sources highlighted.

On the other hand, the sources said that the government refuses holding an urgent session to discuss imprisoning Tabtabaei and Harbash and declaring their positions vacant, and calls to postpone this matter till the next term at the end of October. “The speaker and some MPs are in favor of postponement,” stressed the sources.

Moreover, the sources said MP Adel Al-Damkhi, who is also a member of the 26 bloc, called for requesting a direct meeting with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to ask for a special amnesty to prevent imprisoning those indicted in the case. “Such an amnesty will only prevent imprisoning the MPs but will end their political careers, because the sentence will stay in their records,” the sources remarked.

Replacement plans
The parliament’s employment committee is set to create a monitoring body in the next parliamentary term that will be responsible for following up ‘Kuwaitization’ and replacement plans in state departments, where unnecessary expatriate employees will be laid off to create jobs for citizens, parliamentary sources said.

The parliament has been very patient with the government with regards to implementing the policy of terminating expats and replacing them with citizens in various government bodies, the sources explained. “The government gave accounts of expats officially appointed, but withheld information about thousands of others hired through companies,” the sources underlined, referring to subcontracted employees. The sources explained that the body to be founded will be responsible for examining information provided to the employment committee, because some government bodies had been providing what they described as ‘misleading information’.

The sources demanded that expats’ certificates be endorsed by the Ministry of Higher Education, the foreign ministry and relevant embassies of the countries in which workers have studied, claiming that this is not done all the time presently. They argued that some expats take advantage of this situation by receiving degrees online, get hired in the public sector, and once they reach retirement age, they get appointed as advisors. “Such situations cannot continue any longer,” the sources warned, noting that the employment committee found employees appointed in certain bodies had appointed their siblings, cousins and children. “Having controlled the entire body he works for, how can such an expat employee report in favor of the replacement policy?” the sources wondered.

Umrah trips
The court of appeals yesterday issued a final verdict cancelling a Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) decision on banning co-op societies from organizing umrah trips for shareholders and mandating those co-ops to subsidize governorates with five percent of the shareholders’ money. The court issued the verdict after Qairowan Co-op Society’s president filed a case against MSAL’s decisions.
Meanwhile, MSAL’s assistant undersecretary for cooperation affairs Abdul Aziz Shuaib said regulations concerning small and medium projects in various co-ops will soon be amended in order to prevent having two projects with the same activity at one co-op. “MSAL is not after profits – it aims at creating more job opportunities for youth in various co-ops,” he reiterated.

By A Saleh


This article was published on 10/07/2018