By B Izzak
KUWAIT: The Cabinet approved during its weekly meeting Monday a recommendation to scrap the Public Authority for Roads and Land Transport (PART), which was founded in 2014. The decision was referred to HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah before being submitted to the National Assembly for approval. Minister of Public Works Amani Bugammaz had submitted a request to the Cabinet in March to scrap PART, while a number of lawmakers had also proposed abolishing PART because of conflict in duties between the authority and the ministry of public works.
The Cabinet also approved a recommendation to establish a national committee to regulate demographics, to be headed by Deputy Prime Minister, Interior Minister and Acting Defense Minister Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled Al-Sabah. The committee includes the undersecretaries of the interior, health and commerce ministries, the deputy foreign minister, Public Authority of Manpower director and Civil Service Commission undersecretary, as well as the general directors of the Public Authority for Civil Information, Public Authority of Applied Education and Training, Supreme Council of Planning and Development and Central Statistical Bureau.
Meanwhile, just 19 candidates filed their nomination papers on Monday to contest the June 6 snap general elections, with hopefuls warning that the situation could become dangerous in the country if the polls do not achieve elusive political stability. The total number of candidates after four days of registration rose to just 104, the lowest compared to many previous elections. As many as 264 candidates registered for the scrapped Sept 22 polls during four days of registration.
Only two women have so far filed nomination papers, compared to more than 20 females in the previous polls. Among the new candidates, there were four former MPs and also four members of the annulled 2022 Assembly. This brings the total former lawmakers who are bidding for elections to 24, in addition to 20 members of the 2022 Assembly.
Former MP Adel Al-Damkhi warned after registering of calls being circulated on social media to deter people from voting in the coming elections. Former MP Mekhled Al-Azemi also warned that if the outcome of these polls does not lead to political stability, the “situation could become extremely dangerous”. He did not elaborate. Azemi stressed that if all parties and all the three authorities – the Assembly, the judiciary and the government – do not cooperate, there will be no political stability.
Kuwait has experienced non-stop political disputes between MPs and the government for most of the past two decades. During this period, nine general elections were held either after HH the Amir dissolved the Assembly or the constitutional court revoked the elections over procedural mistakes. Many governments have been formed and three prime ministers were dismissed. Abdullah Al-Anbuei, a member of the 2022 Assembly, said we have to undertake many reforms to meet the aspirations of the Kuwaiti people.