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Kuwait extends partial lockdown until April 22

Government spokesman Tareq Al-Mazrem

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: The council of ministers yesterday decided to extend the partial nightly curfew for another two weeks, ending April 22 but reduced it for one more hour, government spokesman said yesterday. Tareq Al-Mazrem said starting from April 8, curfew will start at 7 pm and end at 5 am and this will apply during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, expected to start on April 13. During Ramadan, the cabinet allowed delivery services from restaurants, cafes and catering to operate between 7 pm until 3 am.

It also allowed people during Ramadan to exercise walking from 7-10 pm but only on foot without using vehicles. Shopping at cooperative societies and supermarkets is also allowed between 7 pm and midnight but through pre-booking. In another decision, the cabinet allowed expats to leave only through land and sea ports. The cabinet did not refer to a ban on the entry of foreigners into the country, meaning that the ban is still effective until further notice.

In the meantime, opposition MPs yesterday submitted a draft law to allow lawmakers to question and even dismiss the speaker who is immune from accountability under the current law. The move comes following Tuesday’s accusations that assembly speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem violated the law and the constitution in a number of decisions the assembly had taken amid an opposition boycott.

MP Abdulaziz Al-Saqaabi proposed adding a new article to the national assembly internal charter that allows MPs to hold the speaker accountable for violating the constitution which could develop into dismissing him. Meanwhile, former MP Obaid Al-Wasmi, a professor of law, said that questioning the assembly speaker is allowed under the law. He said that although there is no law to govern the process, at the same time there is no law to prevent that.

MP Bader Al-Mulla, a lawyer by profession, said he supports Wasmi’s statement, adding that he will begin collecting signatures of MPs to dismiss the speaker if he does not announce that a law, to delay grilling the prime minister for over a year, passed illegally on Tuesday is null and void.

MP Bader Al-Humaidi said yesterday that he will propose legislation that calls on authorities to deport all expats receiving treatment at the psychiatric hospital in Kuwait. He said that he was informed by the health ministry that as many as 37,000 expats are receiving treatment at the psychiatric hospital at a huge financial cost.

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