By B Izzak
KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem yesterday issued a very stern warning to those who try to breach the constitution and the assembly internal charter, saying he will continue to face them and will stop them. Ghanem told reporters that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah is aware of what happened and he asked him to convey his greetings to the majority of lawmakers who complied with the constitution and the law.
Ghanem accused what he called a “small minority” in the assembly of attempting to repeat the “black Wednesday” when hundreds of opposition lawmakers and activists stormed the National Assembly building in 2011, insisting that this will never happen again in Kuwait.
The speaker reiterated that it was one opposition MP – he previously named as MP Mohammad Al-Mutair – who started the chaos and problems in the assembly and called on the opposition MPs to be brave enough to criticize him. He reiterated that no pardon will be granted except from the one who grants pardons, in a clear reference to His Highness the Amir.
Ghanem also insisted that “we will not bow to intellectual and media terror” from any side. But leading opposition MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri still held Ghanem responsible for the clashes and chaos that took place in the National Assembly on Tuesday. Muwaizri described the incident as unprecedented in Kuwait’s 58 years of parliamentary life and called on the speaker to investigate the incidents by watching all videos that were taken.
The lawmaker charged that crowds sat at opposing sides of the gallery and supporters of the speaker sat on one side and they hurled insults at opposition lawmakers and the speaker did not make any attempt to stop them.
Muwaizri also asked the prime minister if the newly-appointed minister of electricity and water Mohammad Bushehri will continue in his post after the court of cassation convicted him in a case and ordered him to pay a fine of KD 3,000.
Meanwhile, MP Saleh Ashour said yesterday that a special panel formed by the National Assembly to probe suspected irregularities at Kuwait Airways has been entrusted to carry out a comprehensive investigation into all the deals with the national carrier.
The lawmaker said the panel elected MP Bader Al-Mulla as its chairman and Ashour as the rapporteur and will commence its investigation immediately following the national holidays. He said the investigation will include the deal to purchase 25 aircraft from Airbus amid suspected kickbacks and also reported financial and administrative violations and irregularities in appointments. The panel will also investigate other deals struck by Kuwait Airways.
The National Assembly on Wednesday formed the investigation panel and also asked the Audit Bureau to launch a comprehensive investigation into the deal and report to the assembly within one month. The investigation was ordered by the assembly after the names of Kuwait and several Kuwaiti personalities were mentioned in a ruling by a British court last month which covered a settlement with Airbus which agreed to pay $4 billion in relation to charges of paying bribes.
Similar actions were taken by some countries over similar allegations. MP Riyadh Al-Adasani, who first raised the issue, said yesterday that records related to the Airbus aircraft deal must be examined and necessary procedures must be taken to refer the whole issue to the public prosecution.