Tabtabaei to join Mutair in grilling premier as MPs step up pressure

Needed majority available to scrap price hikes

MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei

KUWAIT: Islamist opposition MP Waleed Al- Tabtabaei said yesterday that he has decided to join his fellow MP Mohammad Al-Mutair in grilling the prime minister if the government refuses to cooperate in scrapping the hikes in prices of petrol and electricity and in the citizenship issue. The lawmaker, who has already filed the first grilling in the current assembly against Information and Youth Minister Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, said on his Twitter account that they plan to file to grill the premier after February.

Mutair warned on Tuesday that he plans to file to grill the prime minister after national holidays end of February if the government does not resolve the problem of revoked citizenship and abolish the rises in petrol prices and electricity and water charges. Many opposition MPs had vowed to stop the increases in petrol prices and the planned rises in electricity and water charges. The issue was one of the most prominent topics during the November election campaign.

Needed majority
MP Humoud Al-Hajeri meanwhile warned the government that the lawmakers opposed to the increases have the needed majority to scrap the decisions and advised the government to cooperate. The lawmaker called on the government to reduce petrol prices to their levels prior to the September 1 hikes especially the decision has formed a major burden on the people directly impacting their standard of living. Hajeri said the moves and decisions made at the national assembly financial affairs and legal affairs committees are a popular message to the government which should understand it and scrap the increases.

The financial committee on Tuesday gave Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh two weeks to provide the government’s opinion on two draft laws calling for abolishing the increases. The minister reportedly told the panel that the draft laws violated the constitution. MP Riyadh Al-Sane said yesterday that the government’s view that the draft laws violated the constitution is not obligatory to the assembly and lawmakers have already made sure the bills are legal.

Revoked citizenships
Liberal MP Rakan Al-Nassef meanwhile rejected moves to convince the government to return revoked citizenships before declaring all facts surrounding the sensitive issues, especially the rights of the people whose citizenship were revoked to see the validity of the government decisions. The lawmaker said that returning the citizenships without holding to account those responsible from the government is strengthening the image of the so-called “sheikhdom state” under which citizenship is revoked and returned by personal wishes. He said that the people whom the government revoked their citizenship have filed lawsuits at courts and the government has so far refused to provide the judiciary with the reasons for its actions, which means that the government does not respect the judiciary or does not have any reason for its action except political motives.

By B Izzak

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