An independent body to defend human rights
KUWAIT: In its regular session yesterday, the Assembly passed without discussion the establishment of Kuwait Human Rights Commission, an independent body to defend human rights in the country. It also approved in the first reading a law to grant additional benefits to Kuwaitis who retired from the oil sector between 2010 and last year. The government said it accepts the law in principle but it needs more time to resolve some legal issues associated with the legislation.
The Assembly is expected to approve the law in the second and final readin next session. Opposition MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri requested that the issues relating to a complaint he had submitted to the International Parliamentarians Union against speaker Marzouk Al-Ghanem over the jailing of three MPs while enjoying parliamentary immunity. Ghanem rejected the request because it was not in line with the assembly charter and insisted that constitutional experts also supported this view.
Muwaizri later submitted an official request to make the debate but it was rejected by the assembly as only 17 out of 49 MPs present supported the move. MPs Abdulkarim Al-Kundari and Salah Khorshid threatened to grill the oil minister and the oil minister over the appointment of expatriates in the oil sector. The Oil Minister said that two mega oil projects underway, the new refinery and the clean fuel project, will create 2,000 jobs for Kuwaitis but added that 25 percent of the total jobs will go to foreigners who are supplied by contractors.
But Khorshid said that if the minister does not rectify this issue – the appointment of expatriates-within two weeks, he will file to grill the minister. Kundari however said he will not hesitate to grill the prime minister over this vital issue. Health Minister Sheikh Basel Al-Sabah said the ministry is currently studying the idea of setting up a specialized advanced hospital for the treatment of cancer. The announcement came after MPs said the existing cancer hospital is in bad shape and deteriorating.
By B Izzak