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Lawmakers seek to give courts power over citizenship cases

MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei

KUWAIT: The government, represented by the Interior Ministry, rejected a proposal presented by a number of MPs to amend the citizenship law in order to give courts the authority to overlook citizenship withdrawal cases.

This was revealed by MP Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei in response to a Cassation Court order released last Tuesday which rejected a challenge made by former MP Abdullah Al-Bargash against the government’s decision to withdraw his citizenship and those of his family members. The court based its ruling on the fact that the judicial authority does not have power over citizenship withdrawal cases; a matter that the government has sole authority over at the present time.

In order for that to change, legislation is needed to be passed in the parliament to give a similar authority to courts. Something like this had happened before, according to Tabtabaei. “The law has given the government sole authority over four topics: licensing newspapers, citizenships, warship places and administrative deportation,” he said. “The law has already been amended to free newspapers’ licensing from the government’s sole authority.” The lawmaker argues that as a result, a proposal to amend the citizenship law in order to give courts the authority of looking into citizenship-related cases is valid from legal and constitutional standpoints. – Al-Rai

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