Bid to achieve gender equality in obtaining marriage loans denied

KUWAIT: The constitutional court yesterday rejected a contest filed by a citizen demanding considering as unconstitutional the penalty of drinking and eating in public during the holy month of Ramadan of a fine up to KD 100 and/or one month imprisonment. In its verdict, the court stressed the need to show respect for religious rituals and fasting people’s feelings. The court also pointed out to the difference between not fasting, which is something between a worshipper and Allah Almighty, and eating or drinking in public.
In a different case, the court rejected a contest of the constitutionality of giving the financial investigations unit access to individuals’ bank accounts and allowing the “violation of personal freedom” in money laundering and terrorism funding cases. In addition, the court also rejected a contest filed by a lawyer demanding equality between male and female citizens in obtaining marriage loans on grounds that husbands are the ones bearing financial burdens in a marriage.

New Cabinet
The new Cabinet is set to be announced next week, well-informed official governmental sources said, adding that His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah is about to finalize selecting his Cabinet members. The sources added that Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled is expected to present his final Cabinet formation to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah by the middle or end of next week. “The parliament was notified that the new Cabinet formation will not exceed that of next week so that Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem can call for a session on Tuesday, December 24,” the sources explained.
The sources said the new Cabinet members will be sworn in in the first parliamentary session after taking oath before HH the Amir. Moreover, the sources said Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled has made up his mind on “sovereign” portfolios by selecting Sheikh Abdullah Al-Nawaf Al-Sabah as defense minister, Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah as foreign minister and Sheikh Thamer Ali Al-Salem Al-Sabah as interior minister after excluding Sheikh Mohammed Al-Yousef Al-Sabah.
The sources added that MP Rakan Al-Nisf will be appointed commerce minister, Mohammad Al-Jabri will remain in the new Cabinet, Tareq Al-Merzam will be appointed minister of information, while an Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM) member; probably Mohammed Al-Dalal, will join the Cabinet. “New names are nominated for the finance, public works and housing ministries,” the sources said.

Parliament sessions
MP Abdullah Al-Kandari had said yesterday that along with MP Bader Al-Mulla, they urged the speaker to resume parliamentary sessions and not delay them any longer, because the government has failed so far to form the new Cabinet. “There are many unfinished issues that require holding daily meetings to resolve them. We also need to continue monitoring government performance to fight and prevent corruption,” Kandari pointed out. MP Khalil Abul said: “The government that claims to fight corruption should not delay the legislative power’s work.” He added that delaying the Cabinet formation is not a good sign.
On this regard, parliamentary sources stressed such calls by MPs are unconstitutional because the constitution does not oblige a prime minister to form his Cabinet within a certain period if the parliament is still in office. “It only urges the premier to form the Cabinet within two weeks effective the day of his appointment after the election of a new parliament,” the sources explained, noting that lawmakers can later call for accordingly amending the constitution to set a limited period.

By A Saleh