Panel says appointment in legal department should be changed

KUWAIT: Two lawmakers yesterday submitted a request to National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem urging him to resume the Assembly sessions which have been suspended since the resignation of the government about a month ago. MP Abdullah Al-Kandari said he submitted the request along with MP Bader Al-Mulla and demanded that the sessions be resumed on the basis of constitutional and legal procedures.

The two MPs said that the National Assembly should not be held responsible for the delay in the formation of the new Cabinet. Based on parliamentary practice since democracy was introduced to the country in 1962, the presence of at least one Cabinet minister was considered a condition for holding National Assembly sessions. Such sessions could not be started without a government representation.

But some MPs and constitutional experts have challenged this practice as not in line with the constitution and demanded that Assembly sessions should be held even without a government representative. The government has refused to accept this argument. The government resigned on November 14 after infighting between ministers and following allegations of corruption. Former Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah declined an offer to form a new Cabinet saying he wanted to clear his name first from the allegations.

The Amir HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah later appointed former Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah as the new premier. He has however said he will take his time to form the new Cabinet. MP Kandari said that a large number of issues are awaiting to be tackled by the National Assembly which should be holding daily sessions to deal with the issues. The lawmaker said the supervisory and legislative roles of the Assembly must be activated in order to face corruption which is spreading fast in government agencies.

MP Khalil Abul criticized the delay in the formation of the new Cabinet, saying that the Cabinet must be formed as soon as possible in order not to obstruct the working of the government and the Assembly. Head of the Assembly Budgets Committee MP Adnan Abdulsamad said yesterday that procedures governing appointments at the Fatwa and Legislative Department, the government’s legal body, should be changed. He said the committee found out that the government lost around KD 23 million in court cases defended by the department in the previous 2018/2019 fiscal year – an increase of 43 percent.

B Izzak