Decisions constitutionally suspicious
CBy Ahmad Al-Sarraf
ommenting on what was published by the Al-Qabas e-newspaper, on paying some MPs ‘second exceptional salary’, the SecretaryGeneral of the National Assembly said what is published by the AlQabas daily is not new and it is not the first time that the government agrees to pay ‘second exceptional salary’ for some MPs in accordance with Article 80 of the Social Security Law.
The Secretary-General said this salary was introduced during the previous legislative terms and since 1992 the Assembly Council has been paying this salary at the beginning of each legislative term to members who have not received pension before they became MPs or who have received a limited salary less than that of their colleagues.
He added, this payment is aimed at striking a balance from the financial point of view to treat all MPs fair and square because some MPs before they were elected to Parliament were entitled for pensions, and so are entitled to receive the parliamentary salary pursuant to the provisions of Law No 4 of 1963 amending the remuneration of MPs which allow them to receive the parliamentary salary and the pension.
Al-Kandari — the secretary-general forgot to mention that those who received gifts from the government did not demand it before as stated by MP Rakan Al-Nisf, so why the money be given to those who did not request it at all?
Is it a constitutional suspicion, when an executive authority approves the granting of funds to the party, which monitors its work and accounting it, and even demand for noconfidence vote over it?
What about those MPs who have rejected such gifts such as the former and current MP Abdullah AlRoumi, who have been seconded in rejecting these additional salaries by former MPs such as Abdulwahab Al-Haroun, Walid Al-Jari and others? Let us not forget the distinguished position of former MP Mishari Al-Osaimi on this subject.
The mere statement by the Secretary-General that the Government has agreed to pay these exceptional salaries to a number of MPs is an irrefutable proof of this suspicious
behavior and should therefore be reconsidered. It is not an excuse that this procedure has been in place since 1992.
Our democratic practices must rise to the practices of the developed countries. It is not possible to go back after more than half a century of democratic experience, go back to the pre-democratic practices, and to the government’s attempt to win the loyalty of the MPs with all this crude publicity.
This may be justified by the desire of ‘some MPs’ to receive an additional salary in order to achieve the principle of justice between them and other members, who before their election were receiving pensions and are entitled to combine them with the parliamentary salary, but what makes this behavior suspicious is that it has been decided by the government as a gift.
If there was no suspicion at this point, why did a number of respected MPs who have distinguished parliamentary history reject such sums in the past?
If their behavior to reject the money is flawed, why did their colleagues who received money remained silent.
They checked his details to discover he is a Kuwaiti citizen who is wanted in a case filed by a car rental office after he took a vehicle on rent but neither paid the rent for two months nor return the car. He was also accused of swindling a Kuwaiti woman of KD 17 and disappearing.
The suspect was arrested and referred to the concerned authorities for necessary legal action.