KUWAIT: Five lawmakers yesterday submitted a request to the national assembly calling for urgently debating the early retirement law, which was rejected by the government, at the start of the next term in October.

The assembly passed the law around two months ago with an overwhelming majority despite reservations from the government which rejected the law and returned it to the national assembly last week.

The law calls for allowing male and female Kuwaiti government employees to seek early retirement and still obtaining full pension benefits. The government opposed the law because of its huge financial cost and its burden on the finances of the Public Institution for Social Security. But MPs ignored government reservations and passed the highly popular law.

Under Kuwait law, the government has the right to reject laws passed by the national assembly which can override the rejection by re-approving the legislation with a two-third majority in the same term or with a simple majority in the next term.

MPs Ali Al-Deqbasi, Abdullah Fahhad, Riyadh Al-Adasani, Khaled Al-Oteibi and Mohammad Al-Dallal signed the request. MP Deqbasi told reporters that he is confident that the law will be approved comfortably by the assembly at the start of the next term. He said MPs want the law to be debated during the inaugural session. If passed again, the government has no option but to accept and implement the law.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Housing Jenan Boushehri said yesterday that the ministry will start the distribution of 12,000 housing plots in the south of the country from next Sunday, adding that the distribution will be made to those who applied before 2005.

Speaking after a meeting with the housing committee in the national assembly, the minister said that infrastructure for the new area will be completed soon. She said that the announcement is in implementation of a government pledge to distribute 12,000 units every year for five years to help find a solution for the housing problem in the country.

By B Izzak