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Lawmakers demand urgent debate on petrol price hike – MP Dashti gets fresh 11-year jail term


KUWAIT: Lawmakers yesterday submitted a motion signed by 35 MPs demand to convene an emergency session for the National Assembly to debate the government decision to hike petrol prices. No date was given for the session but MP Ahmad Al-Qhudhaibi, who championed the move, said the date will be worked out between the Assembly Speaker and the Prime Minister.

The National Assembly is currently on summer recess that continues until mid-October but MPs can submit motions signed by a majority of the House to demand convening emergency sessions to debate urgent matters.

Al-Qhudhaibi said that there was no constitutional problem with the motion after it was signed by 35 lawmakers, well above the required majority of 33.

The motion wants to discuss why the government has exploited the Assembly’s summer recess and increased petrol prices thus negatively impacting consumer prices as a whole. In their motion, lawmakers said the move had resulted in a rise in the prices of commodities and goods.

They said they want to discuss with the government a solution for the impact of the decision on Kuwaiti citizens, with some MPs demanding compensation for citizens who make up just over 30 percent of the population which reached 4.3 million.

Other MPs have vowed to file motions to grill the Finance Minister and other ministers over the petrol price increase which took effect at the start of September.

The government has insisted that the increase is part of the reform measures intended to meet rising budget deficit due to the plunge in oil prices. In another development, Shiite MP Abdulhameed Dashti was handed a new 11-year jail term yesterday for insulting the Amir and Saudi Arabia by making statements and online comments.

In July, Dashti was handed jail terms of 14 years and six months for insulting Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, endangering Kuwait’s diplomatic relations with them and calling for people to join the Lebanese Shiite militia group Hezbollah.

The sentences were issued in absentia as Dashti has been living overseas for the past several months.

The outspoken MP said on his Twitter account that he was handed the new sentence and expected his total jail terms to reach 100 years as he is facing several other similar cases.

By B Izzak

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