By B Izzak
KUWAIT: Independent MP Yousef Al-Fadhalah yesterday submitted his resignation from the National Assembly citing an unfavorable political environment and non-stop political feuds in the Assembly. The lawmaker claimed that the constitution and other laws have been violated right since the opening session of the new Assembly elected on Dec 5, charging that the government has also failed to fulfil its promises.
He said this has resulted in “deepening the struggle between the government and the Assembly and plunged the country into continued conflicts and disputes”, which harmed national interests. Fadhalah also criticized what happened in last week’s Assembly session which was boycotted by 32 MPs, “when the constitution was violated by postponing current and future grillings against the prime minister, which is unprecedented in the history of the Assembly”.
The lawmaker was one of just 18 MPs along with the 16 Cabinet ministers who attended the session, securing a slight majority that allowed the new Cabinet to take oath. According to the law, the resignation will be discussed by the Assembly only after 10 days. The Assembly will provide Fadhalah with an opportunity to reconsider his decision, but if he insists, the Assembly will accept the resignation.
Last week, Fadhalah called on all opposition MPs to submit their resignations together, which could force the dissolution of the Assembly. The constitutional court yesterday rejected all petitions challenging the results of the Assembly elections held in December. This means that the membership of all MPs has been sanctioned by the court.
Meanwhile, two opposition lawmakers yesterday sent questions to the interior minister about actions it has taken regarding allegations that top ministry officials had received millions of dollars in bribes from stateless people or bedoons to issue travel documents for them. MP Khaled Al-Otaibi said the US Department of State report on human rights released on March 30 stated that “the ministry of interior revealed that approximately 17,000 bedoons had paid KD 3,000 each in bribes between 2014 and 2018 to obtain article 17 passports (travel documents)”.
Otaibi said since the ministry has not denied the report, he asked if the ministry is aware about the network selling those passports and when the ministry confirmed the report. He also asked for the names of officials involved in the scandal and their ranks, and what legal measures have been taken against them. He inquired if those involved have been suspended and if the ministry had initiated cases against them with the anti-corruption authority and the public prosecution.
MP Muhannad Al-Sayer said the US report mentioned that an assistant undersecretary has been held in connection with the case. Sayer asked if the ministry has launched an investigation into the case and what was the outcome, and if the ministry has filed a complaint at the public prosecution, demanding documents proving the answer. He asked if the sheikh was held in connection with this case or other cases and if the ministry has revealed the network assisting him.