Can­di­date calls to re­view all laws is­sued in last 10 years

Hashim con­fi­dent young Kuwaitis can ‘make a dif­fer­ence’

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Nawara Fat­ta­hova

KUWAIT: Par­lia­men­tary can­di­date Salah Al-Hashim has de­clared he has two main goals for con­test­ing the up­com­ing Na­tional As­sem­bly elec­tions - to pro­mote and ap­ply the rights that are in­cluded in the Kuwaiti con­sti­tu­tion, and safe­guard pub­lic funds and in­crease them. Hashim, a lawyer, is run­ning from the sec­ond con­stituency.

With his le­gal back­ground, he has al­ready pre­pared var­i­ous leg­is­la­tions. “We should be mon­i­tor­ing the spend­ing of pub­lic funds by the govern­ment. The present waste of funds is a re­sult of the ab­sence of con­trol of the par­lia­ment. If I win, I will sug­gest ban­ning spend­ing any amount with­out the ap­proval of the par­lia­ment,” Hashim told Kuwait Times.

Leg­isla­tive pro­pos­als

“I will de­mand form­ing a tem­po­rary com­mit­tee at the par­lia­ment to re­view all laws that were is­sued dur­ing the past 10 years and see if they con­form to the con­sti­tu­tion, es­pe­cially these re­lated to free­doms,” he said. “I will also sub­mit a pro­posal that all leg­is­la­tions should be sub­jected to the courts. This in­cludes the Kuwaiti cit­i­zen­ship law, which shouldn’t be sep­a­rate from the ju­di­ciary. Also, ad­min­is­tra­tive de­por­ta­tions should be re­viewed by the courts, and the same thing ap­plies to places of wor­ship,” he said.

“The leg­isla­tive power should be su­per­vis­ing these is­sues, as the three pow­ers should be sep­a­rated. There should be no ex­cuses such as ‘state sovereignty’ on these is­sues. Ac­cord­ing to ar­ti­cle 50 of the con­sti­tu­tion, the three pow­ers should be sep­a­rate but co­op­er­a­tive,” stressed Hashim.

Art re­vival

Hashim wants to bring back the arts, in­clud­ing the­atre, mu­sic and sports. “We are miss­ing these ac­tiv­i­ties due to the so­cial cir­cum­stances. The govern­ment was very weak and ac­qui­esced to var­i­ous pres­sures and dis­tanced arts from our life. I call for re­turn­ing drama, singing and sports com­pe­ti­tions at schools. I also de­mand pay­ing at­ten­tion to his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ments - for in­stance, Kuwait Mu­seum hasn’t been re­fur­bished since 1990. I want to strengthen the cul­tural role of Kuwait. I want to re­turn Kuwait to be the cul­tural oasis it was in the 1960s and 1970s,” he ex­plained.

“Ac­cord­ing to ar­ti­cle 14 of the con­sti­tu­tion, the govern­ment should pro­tect arts and mu­sic, which is not be­ing ap­plied. Also, ar­ti­cle 17 of the con­sti­tu­tion says pub­lic funds should be pro­tected,” Hashim pointed out.

Expats

“Ad­min­is­tra­tive de­por­ta­tion is il­le­gal. This is­sue should be re­viewed by the court. The expats came to Kuwait to work and help us build it, so we should re­spect them and not dis­crim­i­nate against them. The court should de­cide whether or not an ex­pat should be de­ported, af­ter he gets a chance to de­fend him­self, the same way it’s done all over the world,” as­serted Hashim.

Re­li­gious free­dom

“Expats should feel free to prac­tice their re­li­gion. At least, fol­low­ers of Abra­hamic faiths (Mus­lims, Chris­tians and Jews) shouldn’t be banned from es­tab­lish­ing their wor­ship places. Other re­li­gions can prac­tice their ri­tu­als in their homes. Free­dom of re­li­gion was en­shrined in ar­ti­cle 35 of the con­sti­tu­tion for ev­ery­body liv­ing in this coun­try,” he said.

Cre­ma­tion

“Some non-Mus­lim expats want to cre­mate their dead ac­cord­ing to their tra­di­tions, but they are not al­lowed to do so, as cre­ma­tion ser­vices are not avail­able here. This op­tion was avail­able in the past, but was later stopped. The coun­try was more tol­er­ant in the past. This is not fair, and they should have a spe­cial place to prac­tice this tra­di­tion,” Hashim said.

Op­po­si­tion

Hashim be­lieves the op­po­si­tion should be back in the new par­lia­ment. “We tried the par­lia­ment with­out the op­po­si­tion and it was worse than be­fore. Their ab­sence was worse than their par­tic­i­pa­tion. The past par­lia­ment had bad per­for­mance. I think the turnover may be around 50 per­cent, as there are var­i­ous par­ties pay­ing to re­tain the pre­vi­ous mem­bers in the par­lia­ment,” he charged.

Con­clu­sion

“I’m op­ti­mistic that young Kuwaitis be­tween 21 and 30 years old, who make up more than 70 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion, will make a dif­fer­ence. Also, I be­lieve in the strength of women vot­ers who make up around 64 per­cent of the pop­u­lace. I trust these two cat­e­gories. I call upon women not to al­low men to ex­ploit their votes for can­di­dates that don’t work for their rights or ben­e­fit. I ad­vise all Kuwaitis to vote and not boy­cott the elec­tions,” con­cluded Hashim.

- I call for re­turn­ing drama, singing and sports com­pe­ti­tions at schools - Ad­min­is­tra­tive de­por­ta­tion is il­le­gal This is­sue should be re­viewed by the court

KUWAIT: Sec­ond con­stituency can­di­date Salah Al-Hashim talks to Kuwait Times. —Pho­tos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

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