Qud­haibi claims govt pro­tect­ing cor­rupt peo­ple

‘Re­store cit­i­zen­ships’

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By B Iz­zak

For­mer MP Ah­mad Al-Qud­haibi said yes­ter­day that by de­lay­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion of the an­ticor­rup­tion leg­is­la­tion, the govern­ment has ef­fec­tively pro­moted cor­rup­tion. The govern­ment was sup­posed to have is­sued by­laws nec­es­sary for the an­ticor­rup­tion law to be­come ef­fec­tive seven months ago, but it did not, the for­mer law­maker, who is bid­ding for re-elec­tion, said.

One week be­fore the Na­tional As­sem­bly was dis­solved, Qud­haibi sub­mit­ted a re­quest to grill for­mer jus­tice min­is­ter Yaqoub Al-Sane for fail­ing to is­sue the by­laws. The grilling was not de­bated be­cause the As­sem­bly was dis­solved. Fail­ure to im­ple­ment the anti-cor­rup­tion law means that for­mer MPs, min­is­ters and se­nior govern­ment bu­reau­crats were saved from the manda­tory sub­mis­sion of their wealth dis­clo­sures, said Qud­haibi, adding that “there are some who are try­ing to pro­tect cor­rupt politi­cians and de­clare them in­no­cent”.

The for­mer law­maker said that he had warned against hold­ing the As­sem­bly elec­tion be­fore is­su­ing the by­laws and ap­ply­ing the anti-cor­rup­tion law, and ques­tioned if the govern­ment wants to pro­tect its can­di­dates in the polls and give them funds with­out be­ing blamed for in­ter­fer­ing in elec­tion. Qud­haibi said that es­tab­lish­ing the Anti-Cor­rup­tion Author­ity was one of the ma­jor po­lit­i­cal re­form achieve­ments by the dis­solved As­sem­bly, but it

re­mained lack­ing with­out it be­com­ing ef­fec­tive. He said that if he gets elected, he plans to sub­mit an­other grilling of the new jus­tice min­is­ter over the same is­sue.

For­mer op­po­si­tion MP and elec­tion can­di­date Al-Saifi AlSaifi yes­ter­day strongly crit­i­cized the govern­ment for re­vok­ing the cit­i­zen­ship of sev­eral op­po­si­tion fig­ures, say­ing that the govern­ment had done a great in­jus­tice to sev­eral Kuwaiti fam­i­lies. He said that the govern­ment had re­voked the cit­i­zen­ships through a de­ci­sion and can re­store them also through a de­ci­sion. Saifi said the op­po­si­tion does not plan to cre­ate ten­sions with the govern­ment, but if it does not re­store those cit­i­zen­ships, he vowed the op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers will not re­main silent, adding that “we will not rest un­til the cit­i­zen­ships were re­turned”.

The for­mer law­maker warned over the pos­si­bil­ity of the govern­ment rig­ging the elec­tion like what it did way back in 1967 or by fund­ing some can­di­dates. Saifi called on Kuwaiti vot­ers to take part in the com­ing elec­tion in large num­bers in or­der to en­sure that the best peo­ple are elected to serve the coun­try and cit­i­zens.

For­mer MP Nasser Al-Marri, run­ning from the fifth district, said the govern­ment is look­ing for a flex­i­ble As­sem­bly in a bid to pass its harsh aus­ter­ity pro­gram, adding the dan­gers of ran­dom de­ci­sions are greater than those re­sult­ing from the fall in oil prices. He held the govern­ment re­spon­si­ble for the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion and said cit­i­zens should not be made to bear the re­sults of its mis­takes. He said that eco­nomic re­forms should start from the govern­ment and wealthy peo­ple and not from low-in­come sec­tions. Marri said that “touris­tic” med­i­cal treat­ment abroad in the past few years cost KD 1.48 bil­lion, which is enough to build sev­eral hos­pi­tals in the coun­try.

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