Kuwaiti Amir unlikely to dissolve Parliament


Al-Zalazalah asserted that the current parliament is different to previous ones since it has a group of MPs who oppose creating unnecessary tension.

Unconstitutional laws were the central subject of discussion at the gathering, which was attended by Sheikha Fariha Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, along with former candidate Zikra Al-Rashidi and lawyers Salah Al-Hashem and Hussein Al-Khashawi.

In her address at the event, Al-Naqi talked about a study she had prepared earlier and given a copy of to MP Al Zalzalah, which focused on legislation which has been implemented, but is apparently incompatible with the constitution. She gave an example of the previous law proscribing the recruitment of female police officers, which she said had been unconstitutional and unjust to women. After this legislation was amended, however, she continued, a female police academy was established, with justice being implemented.

In his speech, MP Al-Zalzalah focused on the problems which cause the issuing of unconstitutional laws. "When the government is under pressure from the National Assembly, it issues a quick law," he said, adding that by adopting this hasty approach the government is unable to first ensure that the legislation in question complies with the constitution’s articles. As an example, the MP cited the legislation establishing the ‘insolvency fund,’ saying that this had been a kneejerk reaction on the government’s
behalf to parliamentary pressure over the issue of citizens’ debts; as a result of this haste, however, the legislation failed to control the banks, which often give loans to citizens which do not comply with the law.

As a result of this, he continued, the insolvency fund legislation needs to be amended so that it does not allow recipients to reapply for funds until they have settled their previous debts.

Al-Zalzalah said that the government recently presented a number of amendments to certain articles of the legislation. He stressed the importance of the Constitutional Court’s role in the matter of helping to ensure that all legislation is fully constitutional.

In response to a question on the recently formed Group of 26 lobby group, the MP asserted that the concern over it had been exaggerated, pointing out that any citizen can approach HH the Amir to consult him or ask his opinion on any matter. The Group of 26 comprises a diverse collection of individuals, he asserted, offering representation for all segments of society.

Former candidate and lawyer Zikra Al Rashidi expressed her immense satisfaction at the justice women had attained through implementing the spirit of the constitution in the issuing of two constitutional orders, one regarding the voluntary nature of wearing the hijab and the other on passports.

She added that Kuwait has numerous laws which should be rescinded by the constitutional court for their unconstitutional nature, such as the housing and citizenship legislation. She said that in her opinion, both of these laws were unjust to women, which is unconstitutional given that the Kuwaiti constitution explicitly grants sexual equality in legal matters. Al-Rashidi demanded that these laws be amended to ensure that women attain justice and equality with men as is their constitutional right.

Lawyer Salah Al-Hashem, meanwhile, said that at least 40 unconstitutional items of legislation have been approved since 1994, further insisting that the Lawyer’s Society and Women’s Cultural Society should participate in the movement to ensure that the Constitutional Court is equally accessible to all citizens.

Another lawyer, Hussein Al-Khashawi, complained that some MPs without any legislative or legal training have transferred their attentions from carrying out their legislative duties to involving themselves in surveillance, since the latter is easier for them. Al-Khashawi asserted that this is the reason behind the surge in interpolations and grilling motions.

He continued that these MPs’ lack of any legal training had led to the issuing of unconstitutional legislation, such as the housing, anti-smuggling and public assembly laws, which he said urgently require amendment. Al-Khashawi also demanded that the cabinet’s Fatwa and Legislation Authority should also perform a central role in civil society associations and the parliamentary legislative committee.


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