‘Unconstitutional’ to delay forming new Cabinet: Kuwaiti MP


Musallam Al-Barrak, member of the opposition and official spokesperson of the Popular Labor Bloc, decried the ‘political vacuum’, stating HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah should not be given more than the constitutionally-slated period of two weeks to form the new Cabinet.

Lamenting the fact that Kuwait is currently witnessing the suspension of vital projects, Al-Barrak said “the Constitution stipulates a period of two weeks for the Cabinet formation, so it is incorrect for anyone to assume that this period is only for forming the government after the legislative elections while the formation of a Cabinet under any other circumstances can take more than two weeks.”

Clarifying two weeks is the maximum period stipulated in the Constitution for the absence of a Cabinet in Kuwait, Al-Barrak affirmed this period is defined after the parliamentary elections to give the premier a chance to analyze the outcome of the elections and form the new government accordingly.

“It is illogical not to give the premier a deadline to form the new government, since it might take him as long as one year and the Parliament cannot carry out its legislative duties during this period,” Al-Barrak argued. Al-Barrak asserted it is unconstitutional to delay the formation of the new Cabinet, which is tantamount to delaying the passage of important laws, particularly those related to health, education, handicapped individuals, employment, housing care and Bedouns (stateless people).

On the mandatory attendance of the Cabinet in parliamentary sessions, Al-Barrak explained the Constitution requires the Cabinet to attend parliamentary sessions but it does not include any stipulation on the cancellation of these sessions due to the Cabinet’s absence.

Commenting on the adjournment of Tuesday’s session, MP Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei said the Parliament speaker should have consulted the MPs first before adjourning the session. He pointed out Al-Khorafi should have acted in accordance with the opinion of a majority of MPs in the interest of the Parliament and the nation. He added the cancellation of parliamentary sessions due to the government’s absence is not a good practice and it must be changed through the Constitutional Court.

Speaking to the Arab Times, Al-Tabtabaei warned “we will have a strong stand on this issue, since this is an outright disregard of the supervisory role of the Parliament. Article 106 of the Constitution gives the Amir of Kuwait the right to suspend the Parliament for one month and this period has lapsed. What is happening now is against the Constitution.”

Highlighting violations against the Constitution, Al-Tabtabaei called on the political blocs to come up with a clear and strong stand on the delayed formation of the new government. He also urged Al-Khorafi to convene the Parliament without considering the government’s attendance a major condition to have a quorum.

Affirming the new government should have been formed within a period of not more than two weeks after its predecessor’s resignation was accepted, Al-Tabtabaei opined any delay in forming the new Cabinet is tantamount to getting in the way of the interests of the country and its people. He added prolonging the term of the interim government is also against the interests of the nation.

Stressing that the interim government should attend the parliamentary sessions as this is also part of its responsibilities, Al-Tabtabaei has confirmed plans of the MPs in the first session to refer the issue to the Constitutional Court to specify a period for forming the new government and allow holding parliamentary sessions despite the government’s absence.

Echoing the sentiments of his colleague, MP Ali Al-Deqbasi said he will push for the proposal to refer the issue on holding parliamentary sessions without the government to the Constitutional Court, considering a number of vital issues and development projects are included in the agenda of the next parliamentary sessions.

Al-Deqbasi has also attributed the delay in the implementation of important projects to the lack of parliamentary deliberations on these projects as well as the failure to look into the reports of the Finance and Economic Affairs Committee on many development issues. On the same issue, MP Mohammad Hayef Al-Mutairi asserted “this is an unconstitutional disruption of work procedures in the Parliament because we have given the government more jurisdiction than the Amir. This is not right as the Constitution has specified regulations for holding sessions, which include the attendance of a majority of MPs but nothing has been stipulated on the presence or absence of the government.

“This is a clear violation of the Constitution. We should not depend on previous practices that are against the Constitution. The Parliament should be held responsible for these violations because the executive, legislative and judicial authorities are independent of each other. However, we are now giving authority to the government to run the Parliament and this is unacceptable,” declared Al-Mutairi.


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