Two groups of MPs to meet Amir today

KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem said yesterday that two groups of lawmakers will meet HH the Amir today separately after they had requested such meeting. Ghanem however provided no details on the names of the two groups or the issues that will be raised, but he said he will be present in both the meetings. One of the groups will likely comprise of a number of opposition MPs, as Islamist MP Mohammad Hayef said about 11 opposition lawmakers have requested a meeting with HH the Amir directly through the Amir Diwan.

The speaker also delivered a message from the Amir to all MPs that no one should cite the Amir in any statement without obtaining a permit from the Diwan. He singled out Hayef, who reportedly quoted HH the Amir as giving a green light to a general amnesty law that is expected to include a number of ex-MPs and opposition activists who have been handed heavy jail terms for either storming the National Assembly building in 2011 or for writing comments on social media deemed offensive.

Hayef also revealed that opposition MPs had convinced their colleagues MPs Mohammad Al-Mutair and Shuaib Al-Muwaizri not to file to grill the prime minister as a goodwill gesture against resolving key outstanding issues. He said that they had received assurances from the Assembly speaker and the government to resolve three issues: The return of revoked citizenships of several opposition members, help in issuing a general pardon, and retaining the Assembly memberships of Jamaan Al-Harbash and Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, which have already been revoked.

Hayef said that by revoking the membership of Harbash and Tabtabaei, the deal has ended. He also refuted a number of statements made by Ghanem during a television interview late Thursday. The lawmaker said that after the membership of the two MPs had been officially revoked, a number of opposition MPs requested a meeting with HH the Amir to urge a general pardon.

Meanwhile, Kuwait Banking Association said yesterday that local banks will not allow the passage of any suspicious operation in implementation of the anti-money laundering and terror financing laws and other related legislation. The association said in a statement that banks deal within the framework of the law with regards to any suspicious transaction and directly report such cases to the intelligence financial unit of the finance ministry.

It said the unit is legally responsible to receive such complaints and analyze them before referring serious cases to the public prosecution for a criminal investigation. The statement was issued in response to claims made on Thursday by MP Riyadh Al-Adasani that some local banks have reported some cases of inflated bank deposits belonging to some MPs. Adasani also threatened he will file to grill the finance minister if no action was taken against them or if any attempt was made to shelve the investigation like what happened with a previous similar case in 2008.

By B Izzak

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