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Opposition plans another motion to remove Speaker

The National Assembly

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Opposition MPs yesterday began another attempt aimed at the removal of Assembly Speaker Marzouk Al-Ghanem for calling guards into the chamber as several lawmakers called on HH the Premier to resign. Leading opposition MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri said yesterday that he began collecting signatures of MPs on a motion calling for sacking the speaker for allowing the guards into the hall and for breaching the constitution. A previous attempt signed by 23 MPs failed last week when a majority of the house combining government ministers and pro-government MPs rejected to even debate the motion.

Muwaizri said the action by the speaker was unprecedented in the history of democracy in Kuwait, adding that this represented a flagrant attack on the constitution and democracy. He said the motion will be submitted after collecting the signatures of lawmakers on it.

The speaker called the assembly guards after he claimed opposition MPs assaulted the secretary general who was taking the vote on a decision to delay the grillings of the prime minister for over 18 months, which the opposition insists is not in line with the constitution.

Several opposition MPs yesterday called on His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah to either face the grilling or resign to save the country a major political crisis. MP Bader Al-Humaidi said the Prime Minister should either face the grilling or resign because the decision taken to delay his grillings is a breach of the constitution.

MP Osama Al-Munawer insisted that the only way out of the ongoing crisis for the premier is to face the grilling or retake the voting without the participation of the cabinet ministers. MP Hasan Jowhar said the events in the last few assembly sessions clearly show that there is an organized attempt to abort this assembly, adding that postponing grillings is null and void.

In the meantime, Kuwait Society for Human Rights called on the government yesterday to scrap a decision by the manpower authority to stop the renewal of work permits for expats over 60 years of age and who only have higher secondary certificates or lower. The Society also called for scrapping the existing Kafeel or sponsorship law and replacing with another system that complies with international humanitarian laws.

The Society said in a statement that many expats who are over 60 years old were born in the country and lived most of their lives here and their relation to their home countries is the passport only. The Society also criticized decisions by the government raising fees for renewal of residency for this category.


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