KUWAIT: The government has started extensive communications with some lawmakers to convince them vote in favor of its proposed electricity consumption price increases, informed sources said. The sources added that the government found those lawmakers were in a critical situation before voters, feeling that they would lose voters’ support if they approved the government’s proposal. The source said that lawmakers would reject both the government’s and the parliamentary financial affairs’ proposals because they refuse to overburden citizens with extra charges.
“The government can increase electricity prices for investment and commercial buildings but not for citizens’ private residences,” said the sources. They further noted that this topic was starting to create a state of anger between the two authorities, at a time when lawmakers were already talking about troubled waters between His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak and Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem, because the latter was against the government’s project while he ought to be neutral.
The sources said that unless it was sure that enough MPs would vote for its proposal, the government might withdraw the bill and postpone the vote, especially when MPs like Humoud Al-Hamdan, Talal Al-Sehali and Abdullah Al-Adwani, who had been in favor of the government’s proposal, seem to have started to change their minds.
Commenting on the issue, MP Saad Al-Khanfour stressed that ever since his first electoral rally in 2008, he had promised voters to protect the constitution, Islamic sharia and citizens. “I have neither approved the government’s nor the financial committee’s proposals on electricity,” he underlined.
Commenting on the strike of oil sector employees protesting on applying the payroll strategic alternative, Khanfour stressed that he totally supports the employees, especially those working on 24 hour shift basis at various oil facilities. He also stressed that administrative oil sector employees must get equal salaries like those their peers get in other ministries.
Deputy Speaker Mubarak Al-Khurainej stressed that interpellations were part of MPs’ constitutional rights, yet he blamed some MPs who said that they already had a no-confidence motion against minister of commerce signed by 10 of them to file after discussing the grilling motion against him. “We have to discuss the grilling motion and listen to the minister first before we decide to file a no-confidence motion,” he underlined.
By A Saleh