The National Assembly

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem said yesterday that the membership of leading opposition MP Bader Al-Dahoum is “null and void” as declared by the constitutional court, and implementing the ruling is obligatory and does not need any voting in the house as demanded by opposition lawmakers.

“Dahoum’s case is a constitutional and legal dispute settled by the constitutional court. Neither the Assembly speaker nor MPs or the house have anything to do with it.” Ghanem told reporters. “It is not a political dispute as some are trying to show”.

He said the constitutional court ruling on March 14 declared that Dahoum’s election was invalid, his membership is null and void and that a by-election must be held to replace him. He said the ruling must be implemented immediately and without voting by the Assembly, in a direct response to demands by a large number of opposition MPs.

“The membership is null and void by the force of the court ruling and this will not be subjected to voting,” Ghanem said. Dahoum and opposition MPs insist that the Assembly must be allowed to debate and vote on this issue because Dahoum was allowed to participate in the election by a ruling by the court of cassation, whose rulings are superior to the constitutional court, according to opposition MPs.

About 34 MPs yesterday issued a statement in which they reiterated their backing of Dahoum and insisted that his case must be settled by the National Assembly. The opposition lawmakers are meeting next week to decide on what they will do amid reports that they could boycott the Assembly session, depriving it of quorum and ultimately barring the new Cabinet from taking the oath in the house.

Ghanem also said the Assembly will hold a session next week, the first regular session by the house – elected on Dec 5 – in several weeks. He said that a number of key legislation are on the agenda including the general amnesty, reducing preventive detention, support for businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic and others.