Assem­bly will likely be dis­solved ‘within days’

Former MP Sawwagh dies in hos­pi­tal, MoH opens probe

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By B Iz­zak

KUWAIT: The Na­tional Assem­bly will most likely be dis­solved “within days”, veteran MP Kha­laf Du­maitheer said yes­ter­day, as a num­ber of law­mak­ers and par­lia­men­tary sources said an Amiri de­cree could be is­sued to dis­solve the house on Sun­day. “There are strong in­di­ca­tions that the Na­tional Assem­bly will be dis­solved very soon,” the pro-govern­ment Du­maitheer told re­porters as he came out of the speaker’s of­fice. “I think the de­ci­sion will be is­sued within days. I have al­ready taken away some of my be­long­ings from my of­fice,” he said. “The next sup­per of the two au­thor­i­ties - Assem­bly and govern­ment - will be the last one,” the law­maker added.

Du­maitheer’s state­ments came fol­low­ing threats by a large num­ber of law­mak­ers to file re­quests to grill min­is­ters, mainly the fi­nance min­is­ter, over the de­ci­sion to hike petrol prices. Af­ter MP Ah­mad Al-Qud­haibi filed a re­quest to grill jus­tice min­is­ter Yacoub AlSane over the de­lay in is­su­ing by­laws of the Anti-Cor­rup­tion Au­thor­ity, a num­ber of MPs have vowed to sub­mit more grillings.

MPs Ali Al-Khamees, Ab­dul­lah Al-Tu­raiji and Ah­mad AlAzemi, who said they plan to grill Fi­nance Min­is­ter Anas AlSaleh, are ex­pected to file their re­quest tomorrow. MP Faisal Al-Kan­dari also plans to file his grilling re­quest against the fi­nance min­is­ter soon. MP Ja­mal Al-Omar was said to be pre­par­ing a third grilling against Saleh, with MPs Saleh Ashour and Ham­dan Al-Azemi. The law­maker said there will be a big sur­prise at the Assem­bly, without pro­vid­ing fur­ther de­tails. All the grillings cen­ter on the is­sue of petrol prices, which were hiked from the start of Septem­ber by be­tween 40 per­cent and 80 per­cent, spark­ing an­gry re­ac­tions from law­mak­ers.

A deal reached be­tween the govern­ment and a num­ber of MPs to grant every Kuwaiti 75 liters of free petrol every month failed to con­tain pop­u­lar and par­lia­men­tary anger against the govern­ment.

The mood at the Assem­bly ap­peared to an­tic­i­pate the end of the road for the Assem­bly that was elected in July 2013 af­ter adopt­ing for the se­cond time the con­tro­ver­sial one-vote elec­toral sys­tem that led the op­po­si­tion to boy­cott the se­cond par­lia­men­tary elec­tion in a row. The Assem­bly com­pletes its nor­mal four-year term in July. If HH the Amir dis­solves the Assem­bly as ex­pected, fresh elec­tions must be held within 60 days and the new Assem­bly must hold its first ses­sion within two weeks af­ter the elec­tion re­sults. Some of the op­po­si­tion groups, es­pe­cially the Is­lamic Con­sti­tu­tional Move­ment (ICM), have de­cided to end their boy­cott to the polls and are ex­pected to field can­di­dates.

Mean­while, former Is­lamist op­po­si­tion MP Falah AlSawwagh died yes­ter­day af­ter un­der­go­ing surgery at a lo­cal hos­pi­tal, af­ter which he felt se­vere car­diac pain. His con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated af­ter a li­po­suc­tion at the Bab­tain hos­pi­tal for burns and plas­tic surg­eries, and Sawwagh breathed his last in the ICU. He was 56. The Min­istry of Health has opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the death of Sawwagh, it said in a state­ment. The state­ment urged peo­ple not to spec­u­late on the cause of the former MP’s death un­til the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is com­pleted, and con­veyed deep­est con­do­lences to his fam­ily.

Sawwagh was elected to the Na­tional Assem­bly for the first time in 2009 and was re­elected in Feb 2012. But he boy­cotted as part of the op­po­si­tion the fol­low­ing two polls in protest against the change in the vot­ing sys­tem. Sawwagh pre­vi­ously worked for the Kuwait Na­tional Petroleum Com­pany (KNPC), amongst other in­sti­tu­tions.

Falah Al-Sawwagh

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.