National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim expressed confidence in the ability of the new term of the Parliament to make positive achievements, noted some "files have remained unresolved" and criticized slow pace of executing mega development projects.
The Speaker, in his speech at the opening ceremony of the National Assembly's third session of the 14th legislative term on Tuesday, expressed confidence that the new term's sessions would witness substantial accomplishments, hoping to see at Abdullah Al-Salem's Hall "echoes with wise and professional dialogues, respect (among MPs) despite divergent views and calls for cooperation." He expressed gratitude to the MPs for their rigorous efforts during the previous session, namely "their brave stand in face of some wrong practices that misused constitutional rights. Such an approach has reinstated basic rights stipulated by the ancestors for reforms, rather than blackmailing or political pressure." Addressing the Cabinet and the Premier, Speaker Al-Ghanim expressed gratitude for tackling a lot of issues. However, "many other files have remained unresolved and pace of the work is still slow with respect of many projects and realms," he said, warning that failure of development efforts "constitute the strongest motives for political turbulence." Al-Ghanim praised the role of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in supporting the Assembly's work, also hailing the UN's honoring of His Highness as a "Humanitarian Leader." The current term is having two choices to execute its agenda, he said. The first option is to follow on the footsteps of some MPs in the previous parliamentary terms (before he chaired the Assembly) in creating political chaos in the country through rhetoric without action, he noted. However, "We have taken the second choice, the harder road where we would rather engage directly with citizens to solve their problems and be part of active committees and workshops", he explained.
Through taking a practical approach to solving pending issues, the Parliament was able in its previous term to address and approve many unprecedented issues, Al-Ghanim pointed out.
He added that the prolonged problem of housing was addressed with the decision to distribute more than 12,000 housing units annually, in comparison to the past 15 years when only 3,000 housing units were delivered, per year.
Other achievements of the pervious legislative term were setting up the Constitutional Court to which people can file suits against challenging laws, approving health insurance for retired citizens, mandating equal pensions for all citizens and endorsing a law approving establishment of self-funded sports clubs.
Some of the other approved bills during the previous term were related to electronic government transactions, transportation and communication, partnership between the private and public sectors, protection of consumers, environment and many more, he added.
Al-Ghanim mentioned the controversial case of the mega-million deposit, which triggered accusations of embezzling public funds, however, the parliament, under his mandate, put this case in the hands of the Kuwaiti judicial system to handle it appropriately.
Affirming that he and the MPs welcome constructive criticism, Al-Ghanim noted, "Our approach for reforms will certainly make us targets of criticism and suspicion by embezzlers of the public funds, their political and media agents. It is an honor for the National Assembly to be the bayonet in the people's battle against the corruption and the corrupt." He stressed that those who sow seeds of sedition should be dealt with through holding these instigators accountable in accordance to the Constitution and judicial laws.
Al-Ghanim continued, saying that even though the region is seeing much turbulence, yet His Highness the Amir's wise leadership has been able to create some balance through diplomacy and his philanthropic activities. The Parliament Speaker addressed the people of Kuwait, saying that their will for living, decently, constitutes the basis for sound administration, both at the executive and legislative levels.
While recalling the hard labor of the ancestors who lived, with meagre resources, in the pre-oil times, the Parliament Speaker pledged to work for sake of keeping Kuwait united, with "the people advocating Islam as a doctrine, maintaining their Arab identity, democratic system, under rule of Al-Sabah family, with freedom of speech and economy."