The National Assembly

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: A number of MPs yesterday called for a probe over suspected forgery in the election of the National Assembly Speaker in which Marzouq Al-Ghanem won although over 40 lawmakers pledged publicly to vote against him. MP Musaed Al-Mutairi said he and a number of MPs submitted a motion calling to form an investigation committee into allowing supporters of a sports club into the opening session and also into a suspected forgery in the speaker election.

Mutairi described what happened as a “shame” when the sports club fans insulted MPs and acted in a chaotic way, charging that the way the fans were issued invitations is highly suspicious and their actions were deliberate. Islamist MP Osama Al-Shaheen said in a statement that an investigation is needed in the possibility of a suspected forgery in the speaker election during the new assembly’s first session on Tuesday.

MP Abdulkarim Al-Kandari charged that the speaker post was taken by “deception and through an illegal way” and this issue will not end here. He however did not say if he plans to take any action. But he said that his dealings with the presidency of the assembly will be governed by the constitution and the internal charter.

MP Mubarak Al-Hajraf said on Wednesday that he plans to submit a motion next week calling to probe the events during the inaugural session of the assembly amid accusations that many of Ghanem supporters were allowed into the assembly gallery. Sheikha Al-Jassem, a female candidate who failed to win an assembly seat, yesterday filed a lawsuit urging the public prosecutor to investigate a suspected forgery into the election of the assembly speaker.

She said that a number of MPs posted images of their ballots in the speaker election and those ballots were not the same which raises the possibility of forgery. A number of MPs have already submitted amendments to the assembly internal charter to end secret voting in the assembly election and make it public by calling names.

Over 20 opposition MPs met Wednesday night to discuss plans for advancing a number of key legislation. MP Mutairi, host of the meeting, said that at least seven other lawmakers have sent their apologies for being unable to attend for personal reasons.

He said that the meeting discussed ways to press for the passage of a draft law granting amnesty to citizens convicted in freedom of speech cases. MP Hisham Al-Saleh said he submitted a draft law calling to scrap jail terms for freedom of speech violations. The legislation also prohibits prosecutors from jailing defendants during investigation and trial.