Assembly to pass key laws today 110,000 granted citizenship since 2012

KUWAIT: The National Assembly is expected to pass a number of key laws today as it begins a series of special sessions to also pass budgets before it goes into summer recess before Eid Al-Fitr.

MPs are expected to pass in the second reading the public tenders and  municipality laws which were yesterday approved in their final forms by the respective committees. Rapporteur of the financial and economic affairs committee MP Mohammad Al-Jabri said the panel approved a number of amendments to the draft public tenders law but rejected an amendment to move the petitions committee away from the council of ministers.

He said the panel approved an amendment which allows the Central Tenders Committee to pick up the second lowest bid ahead of the first for technical consideration provided stringent conditions should be applied to prevent excessive variation orders.

The amendments also stipulate changing half of the seven-member CTC every two years. This will be the first major reforms to the key public tenders law which governs awarding of public projects worth billions of dinars every year.

Regarding the municipality bill, rapporteur of the public utilities committee MP Saud Al-Huraiji said the panel approved all the amendments to the law but left the highly controversial article regarding the distribution of electoral districts for the assembly to decide. He expected that a number of MPs and the government to submit amendments to this article.

MP Faisal Al-Shaye said yesterday that he and a number of lawmakers are preparing an amendment to the election law to create a committee to supervise the election. The amendment will be submitted after it is complete and has support.

Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah said yesterday that the government has granted Kuwaiti citizenship to 110,000 people since January 2012. In response to a question by MP Abdulhameed Dashti, the minister said that the central committee for Bedoons (stateless) is responsible for recommending names of Bedoons for naturalization when they fulfill conditions.

In the meantime, MP Khalil Abul said yesterday that a grilling is being prepared against Education Minister Bader Al-Issa over certain violations he did not reveal. Abul said he saw the draft of the grilling which is very strong and aims at reforming education. But he said the grilling will be presented only in the next term starting in October.

The public prosecution yesterday challenged jail terms issued against seven people including three royals and acquitted six others for insulting the judiciary. The prosecution demanded stiffening the jail terms. The court last month sentenced five people including three members of the ruling family to five years in jail and a sixth for one year while it handed a 10-year sentence in absentia against a seventh. They were convicted of using social media to accuse top judges of receiving bribes. The court acquitted six others.

By B Izzak

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