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Kuwaiti lawmakers divided over Speaker’s name
December 7, 2016, 12:55 pm
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Days before the newly elected Kuwaiti parliament convenes for the first time, the latest meeting of some lawmakers to agree on the name of the Speaker has reportedly failed. The Speaker is normally elected on the day the parliament convenes, and three lawmakers — outgoing Speaker Marzooq Al Ganem, Abdullah Al Roumi and Shoaib Al Muwaizri — are vying for the position.

However, 27 lawmakers opposed to Al Ganem have been trying to end the deadlock between Al Roumi and Al Muwaizri and decide on one contender who will boost their chances of securing the crucial position.

Neither of the lawmakers has so far accepted to step down and both insisted that they should honour their pledge to their supporters during the election campaign to become Speaker. The 27 lawmakers are reportedly working on coming out as a united and strong bloc that would have enough power and influence inside the parliament to decide the course of action.

According to Kuwaiti daily Al Qabas, the lawmakers agreed to set up a seven-member committee that will decide on the priorities and another committee that will help set up new temporary commissions within the parliament.

“The lawmakers discussed several issues, including the election of the Speaker and the arrangement of priorities during the first term of the parliament,” MP Mohammad Al Mutair told the media following the three-hour meeting. “Consultations and discussions will continue to arrange priorities.”

However, the meetings have been criticised by fellow lawmakers for deciding on parliamentary positions outside the parliament which, they said, was not constitutional.

“Choices have to be made inside the parliament, and not at meetings to which only some lawmakers are invited,” MP Khalid Al Shatti said. “The call to hold meetings with selected lawmakers does not augur well for the parliament. There is a huge difference with the purely social meeting to which all lawmakers were invited by MP Saadoon Hamad and during which no political issue was raised.”

MP Mohammad Al Jabri said that lawmakers should avoid divisions and divergences. “We are elected to serve the country and the people who must always be at the top of our priorities,” he said. “We must shun differences and divisions so that the parliament can deal with security and economy challenges, away from self-serving agendas.”

Source: Gulf News

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