Opposition MPs warn govt over key laws, citizenship

KUWAIT: Opposition MPs yesterday reviewed the main issues that need to be debated and approved in the National Assembly’s new term opening tomorrow and warned the government over its failure to cooperate with them. MP Abdulwahab Al-Babtain, who hosted the meeting of 13 lawmakers, said the meeting insisted that seven important issues should be tackled in the first month of the new term.

These include reducing the duration of preventive detention (to just 48 hours from 10 days now), early retirement, scrapping the petrol price hike, the Kuwaiti army law and the municipal council and the anti-corruption authority legislation, Babtain said. Other major issues that opposition lawmakers want to be resolved include amending the electoral system, the cybercrime law, audiovisual law, judiciary independence law and a legislation calling to shield the National Assembly against dissolution, he said.

Babtain said invitations were sent out to 23 lawmakers but some of them could not attend, adding that the MPs expressed readiness to discuss these issues with anyone. He said that there will be no political stability except through cooperation to approve the abovementioned legislation, adding that they were not interested in clashing with the government in the Assembly. He warned that if the government continues to behave in the same way it did in the first term, there will be collisions. Regarding grillings, Babatain said it was decided to deal with each grilling separately, but criticized the way the government has been behaving to protect any minister facing questioning.

Opposition MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri meanwhile said he will back the grilling against the state minister for Cabinet affairs and the planned grillings against the ministers of oil and social affairs and labor. He charged that administrative and financial violations have been committed in a number of departments under the state minister, adding that the minister of social affairs does not respect court rulings.

Meanwhile, MP Abdullah Fahhad warned the government against its failure to fulfill promises to return citizenships revoked from a number of opposition figures over three years ago. Fahhad said an understanding was reached with the government to return the citizenships, and failing to fulfill the pledges could lead to serious consequences. MP Mohammad Al-Dallal said that the issue of a Cabinet reshuffle is on the table and called for dealing with it seriously, but admitted that a Cabinet reshuffle is in the hands of HH the Amir and the prime minister.

By B Izzak


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