KUWAIT: MPs are seen during a parliamentary session yesterday. – Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Lawmakers yesterday debated the Amiri speech delivered on the opening day of the current term, demanding major changes and a war on corruption. MP Ali Al-Deqbasi called for changing the election law which he described as “racist” because of the major difference in the number of voters between bedouin-dominated constituencies and others.

MP Saadoun Hammad also called for changing the current electoral law and the distribution of constituencies and the voting system. A similar call was made by MP Hamdan Al-Azmi, who said that he had won his seat on the basis of the current system, but it has caused tremendous harm to the country.

MP Adel Al-Damkhi welcomed the signing of a deal with Saudi Arabia that allows the resumption of oil production from the neutral zone, although it came after Kuwait lost billions of dollars from the five-year stoppage. MP Abdulkarim Al-Kandari, the head of the foreign relations committee, also welcomed the deal, adding that the panel will invite the foreign minister to a meeting to brief them about the details of the agreement that also modified previous border demarcation accords.

MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri lashed out at some sections of the ruling family, claiming they are the cause of most of the problems in the country. He alleged the ruling family previously had an alliance with bedouins against the rest, then with Sunnis against Shiites, and later with Shiites against Sunnis. He said now the family has changed its alliances, which is causing problems.

MP Khalil Al-Saleh blamed expatriates for some problems, saying expatriates have brought problems from their homeland with them, like bribery, although they remit some KD 5 billion annually. He said that the main problem in Kuwait remains with regards to finding jobs for citizens, as seeking jobs in the private sector has proved a failure.

MP Al-Humaidi Al-Subaei said the country cannot march ahead and progress without resolving previous crises, calling for opening a new page by issuing a general amnesty for political opponents. He insisted that national unity will not be achieved without the pardon. The lawmaker asked how many more bedoons or stateless people should die before “we give them their basic humanitarian rights”. He said bedoons do not need crocodile tears, but urgently require a solution by the National Assembly.

MP Mohammad Al-Dallal said that almost every year, there is a new Cabinet in Kuwait, an indication that the country faces political instability, and this must be resolved. MP Riyadh Al-Adasani said the value of Eurofighter warplanes is KD 2.6 billion and that of Caracal helicopters is KD 1 billion, adding these deals have some suspicions and should be sent to the public prosecution.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued on the sidelines of the Assembly session yesterday, 27 lawmakers expressed deep concern over the situation of Muslims in India and China and called on the government for backing their cause through exerting diplomatic efforts and through the United Nations. The statement signed by the 27 lawmakers – and not on behalf of the National Assembly – expressed their “deep concern” on the abusive legislative and repressive security measures taken by the Indian government against Muslims who have been demonstrating after parliament passed a law deemed discriminatory against Indian Muslims.

The statement also expressed deep sorrow over the treatment of Muslims in China and called on the government to express solidarity and support for them through diplomatic channels and at the United Nations. The next Assembly session will be held on Jan 7.