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MPs pass early retirement law

KUWAIT: Photo shows lawmakers at the National Assembly yesterday. MPs passed the early retirement law with a big majority. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: MPs yesterday passed the early retirement law with a big majority but all Cabinet ministers present at the voting rejected the legislation casting doubts that it will be accepted and applied. The law allows female and male Kuwaiti government employees to retire with full pension benefits after serving for 25 years and 30 years, respectively, regardless of age. The legislation, which was passed by 43 votes in favor and 16 against, also allows employees to seek retirement even earlier but they will lose some of the pension benefits especially pension pay.

There was a unanimous approval of these two points but a dispute erupted between the government and the Assembly over an article that prevents the government from dismissing those employees prematurely. To become effective, the law must be approved by the Cabinet and signed by the Amir. If the government rejects the law, the Amir will not sign it and it will be rejected and returned to the National Assembly.

At this point the Assembly can overrule the government’s rejection by passing the law with a two-third majority in this term or a simple majority in the next term. If this happens, it becomes obligatory for the government to implement it. The law was passed with little discussion because it had already been passed in the first reading several weeks ago.

In another development, the National Assembly has strongly condemned the Israeli systematic attacks and massacres against the Palestinian people during the past 70 years since the establishment of Israel. In a communique read by speaker Marzouk Al-Ghanem, the Assembly strongly condemned the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem, reaffirming that the holy city is the eternal capital of the independent Palestinian State. The Assembly strongly deplored the Israeli killing of the unarmed Palestinian demonstrators, saying Israel wouldn’t have dared to commit these terrorist actions without the complete silence of the region and the world.

MP Riyadh Al-Adasani meanwhile, threatened he will file to grill the prime minister if a report of a parliamentary committee was debated in a secret session. The report is the result of an investigation by the committee over a grilling to the prime minister several months ago. Adasani is insisting that the report should be discussed in public.

MP Al-Humaidi Al-Subaie strongly lashed out at the Philippines, accusing Manila of military intervention in Kuwait in a reference to the smuggling of several Filipina maids by embassy workers which triggered a diplomatic crisis between the two countries which has now been resolved.

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