First par­lia­ment churns out notable achieve­ments

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

Kuwaitis pre­pare to head to the polls on Novem­ber 26 for par­lia­men­tary elec­tions that will set in mo­tion the National As­sem­bly’s 15th leg­isla­tive term. De­spite the fact that more than half a cen­tury has elapsed since democ­racy first sur­faced in the coun­try, Kuwait’s very first par­lia­men­tary elec­tion re­mains the most sig­nif­i­cant hap­pen­ing in the na­tion’s history, where on Jan­uary 23, 1963 the first mem­bers of par­lia­ment were elected.

More­over, the in­au­gu­ral par­lia­men­tary elec­tions were con­tested by a to­tal of 205 can­di­dates, as 50 MPs formed the first par­lia­ment which served its first term on Jan­uary 28, 1963, fea­tur­ing a lineup com­prised of 15 min­is­ters with the late Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah at the helm.

On Jan­uary 29, 1963, the first par­lia­men­tary ses­sion was held with Ab­du­laziz Al-Saqer cho­sen as National As­sem­bly Speaker and Saud AlAb­dul­raz­zaq as his deputy. Fur­ther­more, in an un­prece­dented turn of events, a par­lia­ment speaker ten­dered his res­ig­na­tion cit­ing con­sti­tu­tional in­frac­tions deal­ing with min­is­ters oc­cu­py­ing other po­si­tions while serv­ing their posts. Sub­se­quently, eight MPs fol­lowed suit and re­signed due to sim­i­lar con­sti­tu­tional vi­o­la­tions.

Mean­while, Kuwait lost a pro­po­nent of democ­racy when Sheikh Ab­dul­lah AlSalem Al-Sabah, a man cred­ited with in­tro­duc­ing democ­racy to the coun­try, passed away on Novem­ber 24, 1965, as his brother, Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem AlSabah suc­ceeded him to be­come Kuwait’s 12th ruler.

Par­lia­ment’s first leg­isla­tive term was a highly event­ful one, as more than 170 new laws were en­acted and 268 sug­ges­tions pitched. The laws dealt with is­sues that ran the gamut from com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion and in­dus­try to avi­a­tion and finance, amongst other notable ones in­clud­ing Kuwait’s en­try into the In­ter­na­tional Par­lia­men­tary Union. The end of par­lia­ment’s first leg­isla­tive term paved the way for new elec­tions held on Jan­uary 25, 1967, which her­alded the start of the sec­ond term. — KUNA

KUWAIT: An ar­chive photo show­ing cit­i­zens par­tic­i­pat­ing in elec­tions to elect the first par­lia­ment in Kuwait. — KUNA

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