KUWAIT: Leading opposition MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri, who has sought to grill the prime minister over rain mismanagement, yesterday did not attend a meeting by the National Assembly’s legal and legislative committee to study the legal status of the grilling. The grilling was supposed to have been debated last week but the government argued that it violated the constitution and demanded that it should be referred to the legal committee to determine if it can be debated or not.

The committee had invited Muwaizri for a meeting yesterday to hear his viewpoint on the issue but he abstained from the meeting without notifying the panel, rapporteur of the committee MP Khalil Abul said. Abul said that Muwaizri was informed of the meeting by notifying his house, his office and by phone, but he did not come without stating any reason. Muwaizri did not issue any statement to explain his position, but it appears that he is unlikely to attend the meeting because he objects to the principle of referring the grilling to the panel.

Abul said the committee decided to renew its invitation to Muwaizri for next Monday and it plans today to hear the opinions of constitutional experts as well as the government’s viewpoint represented by the justice minister. He said that if Muwaizri attends next Monday’s session, the committee will be able to prepare its report in time for the Assembly’s regular session on Tuesday. Lawmakers opposed to referring the grilling to the committee insist that the action amounts to amending the constitution because the government can use this tool to prevent grillings.

Head of the Assembly’s priority issues committee MP Ahmad Al-Fadhl said yesterday that the government has submitted nine issues to be accorded priority and that none of them call for raising charges or imposing taxes except a bill stipulating to impose excise duty on tobacco and energy drinks. MP Riyadh Al-Adasani warned yesterday that if the health ministry imposes any form of charges for medical services at Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital, designated to treat Kuwaitis only, he will file to grill the concerned minister. He said that medical services at the hospital must continue to be provided free of charge.

MP Abdullah Fahhad said in a series of questions to the justice minister that a stateless man or bedoon was detained for 25 days on accusations that he was a member of the Islamic State (Daesh) group and that he plotted to assassinate the director of the central agency for bedoons. After the man was later released without bail, the lawmaker asked about what charges he was detained on, who filed the complaint against him and whether it was the bedoons agency. He also asked if the man’s release meant that the accusation was false and inquired if it was a plot and by whom. Fahhad sent similar questions to the interior minister.

By B Izzak