US embassy meeting with right panel angers Khorafi



"The issue was a grave mistake as no parliamentary committee is allowed to hold such meetings without informing the speaker and taking his permission" Khorafi told reporters. The speaker also said he will inform the head of the committee of the mistake committed and will ask him no t to repeat this in the future.

He also called on foreign missions in Kuwait that holding such meetings must come through the foreign ministry and the speaker of the assembly. Khorafi blamed the US embassy for committing a "procedural mistake" by accepting an invitation by phone, insisting that "the embassy should have told the committee that such meetings could not be arranged through this way and should have followed the right diplomatic procedures". The speaker has also informed the foreign ministry of the issue and hoped the ministry will inform the embassy through diplomatic channels".

The meeting was held on Monday to discuss the latest US State Department report that accorded Kuwait a tier three status on trafficking in people for its treatment of domestic helpers and foreign workers. Later, head of the committee Islamist MP Waleed Al-Tabtabai said the meeting was held on the basis of a request by the embassy and that the committee has not "overstepped the authorities of the speaker or the foreign ministry", adding that the committee received similar requests in the past.

The US embassy officials were reported to have refused to discuss the US decision to freeze the assets of the Revival of Islamic Heritage Society.

Khorafi also denied press reports that the court will issue a ruling that would change the outcome of the May 17 general elections, saying that nothing is official until the court officially issues its verdict later this month. The reports claimed that following a new calculation of votes in the official records, it became clear that two current MPs will lose their seats in favor of candidates who came in 11th place.

It said that MPs Mubarak Al-Waalan from the fourth district and Abdullah Al-Ajmi from the fifth "stand to lose their seats" in favor of Askar Al-Enezi and former MP Saadoun Hammad, respectively. The court has been looking into challenges in all the constituencies about mistakes in calculating the votes.

The challengers demanded a new calculations and the court is expected to announce its verdict later this month. Khorafi however insisted that the reports were baseless and that the final verdict will be issued by the constitutional court. Khorafi’s comments came after MP Waalan met him and complained about the reports, insisting that such reports were being deliberately leaked to change facts. Waalan vowed to take action against those who leaked the reports.

Commenting on the latest statements that suspected former and current MPs of being involved in visa trading, Khorafi said that those who made the claims should have the courage to spell out names so the accusations do not remain general. Khorafi said that speaking in general terms does not amount to anything and that people who make such accusations must mention names and evidence.

But MP Faisal Al-Muslim welcomed what he called "the opening of the visa trade file which is full of misery, pain and risks against national security". Muslim called on the committee to announce the names of those involved in visa trading whether they are MPs, ministers or Sheikhs, insisting that the file must be dealt with and closed.


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