Op­po­si­tion again fails to agree on speaker

MPs want to hold sports de­bate

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By B Iz­zak

KUWAIT: Op­po­si­tion MPs met again yes­ter­day to dis­cuss se­lect­ing one can­di­date to fight the speaker’s elec­tion on their be­half, but re­mained un­de­cided on one of the two law­mak­ers who have an­nounced their in­ten­tion to con­test the post. Twenty-two law­mak­ers at­tended the meet­ing and five oth­ers could not at­tend be­cause they were tied up with other ap­point­ments, mak­ing the op­po­si­tion bloc look­ing sta­ble at 27, a for­mi­da­ble num­ber that will change many fac­tors in the Assem­bly.

The meet­ing did not reach a fi­nal de­ci­sion on who should run from the bloc for the speak­er­ship among the two can­di­dates who al­ready ex­pressed the de­sire to con­test - MPs Ab­dul­lah Al-Roumi and Shuaib Al-Muwaizri. The is­sue has re­mained the most cru­cial topic for op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers, which could un­der­mine the unity of the group­ing.

The meet­ing also dis­cussed other is­sues in­clud­ing the is­sue of bedoons (state­less Arabs). MP Mo­ham­mad Hayef said they dis­cussed a pro­posal to set up a com­mit­tee for the bedoons in the Assem­bly, as the pre­vi­ous Assem­bly scrapped the com­mit­tee and as­signed the in­te­rior and de­fense panel to dis­cuss their af­fairs. The law­mak­ers also dis­cussed reach­ing a con­sen­sus on a num­ber of pri­or­ity is­sues that should be de­bated in the Assem­bly when it opens on Sunday. These in­clude the is­sues of ci­ti­zen­ship, amend­ing the elec­tion law and scrap­ping some con­tro­ver­sial laws. Op­po­si­tion MPs plan to meet again be­fore the open­ing ses­sion of the Assem­bly.

Mean­while, a num­ber of newly-elected MPs yes­ter­day vis­ited the Na­tional Assem­bly for the first time and were in­tro­duced to the var­i­ous de­part­ments of the Assem­bly. MP Ab­dul­wa­hab Al-Bab­tain said he has gath­ered sig­na­tures of sev­eral MPs of de­mands he will sub­mit to the gov­ern­ment to carry out in a bid to lift Kuwait’s sus­pen­sion by in­ter­na­tional sports or­ga­ni­za­tion im­posed over a year ago.

A num­ber of MPs how­ever said they sup­port calls to al­lo­cate part of the in­au­gu­ral ses­sion on Sunday to de­bate the sports sus­pen­sion and to see what mea­sures should be fol­lowed by Kuwait to end the freeze. The In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee, the world’s foot­ball body FIFA and other sports fed­er­a­tions sus­pended Kuwait from in­ter­na­tional sports in Oc­to­ber last year for allegedly is­su­ing leg­is­la­tions that vi­o­late the in­ter­na­tional sports char­ter.

The world sports bod­ies in­sist they will end the sus­pen­sion only when the Kuwaiti gov­ern­ment ends its al­leged in­ter­fer­ence in sports. But in­stead of com­ply­ing with world sports bod­ies’ re­quire­ments, the pre­vi­ous Assem­bly ap­proved in June a gov­ern­ment-spon­sored law that boosts gov­ern­ment in­ter­fer­ence, which prompted IOC and FIFA to warn of fur­ther ac­tion. Sev­eral law­mak­ers urged the gov­ern­ment to do what is needed to end the sus­pen­sion.

Also, op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers con­tinue to warn HH the Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah not to in­clude cer­tain min­is­ters in the Cabi­net which is be­ing formed. MP Al-Hu­maidi Al-Subaei said that fail­ing to read the out­come of the elec­tion and in­clud­ing con­tro­ver­sial fig­ures in the Cabi­net will be a clear sig­nal that he is seek­ing to have ex­plo­sive re­la­tions with the Assem­bly.

— Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: Op­po­si­tion MPs gather at the di­waniya of MP Mo­ham­mad Al-Mu­tair yes­ter­day.

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