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19-06-2012 - Gulfnews

Kuwait adjourns parliament for one month

Kuwait's Emir on Monday put off the sessions of the parliament for one month.

The decision, made following consultations with the government, was taken under Article 106 of the constitution which stipulates that the Emir may adjourn the meeting of the National Assembly for a period not exceeding one month.

The article says that the adjournment may be repeated only once during the same session with the consent of the Assembly.

No reason was officially given for the decision not to hold sessions for a month, but Shuaib Al Muwaizri, the state minister for parliament, said that all the other parliament-related activities, including committees, motions and proposals, would not be affected and would proceed normally.

However, some MPs speculated that the decision was to allow the government to consider its options as the standoffs with the parliament were becoming more frequent.

"My explanation is that the decision was made to make a final decision on the status of the government either through its resignation or by a limited reshuffle," MP Waleed Al Tabtabai wrote on his Twitter account. "It could also be to gain time to make a final decision on the motion to grill the interior minister."

MP Anwar Al Dahoom said that he was surprised by the suspension of the parliament sessions, but added that it was within the prerogatives of the Emir.

"We do not know the motives, but the problem is that there are groups pushing for the dissolution of the parliament," he said. "The biggest loser is the people of Kuwait since the country will come to a standstill. The government and the parliament should work together and there should be a clear vision to ensure the country does not slide into chaos and instability," he said, quoted by Sabr news site.

The situation should not deteriorate into escalations that will deeply impact the everyday lives of the people, he said.

"The majority in the parliament might not remain idle and we do not want them to resort to the street where they have large followers," he said.

Relations between Kuwait's parliament, elected on February 2, and the government, formed on February 14, have been strained.

Lawmakers have filed eight motions to grill ministers, an average of one quizzing every two weeks.

Two grilling motions were filed against Mustafa Al Shamali, the finance minister, Ahmad Al Rajeeb, the social affairs and labour minister, and Shaikh Ahmad Al Humood, the interior minister.

Shaikh Jaber Al Mubarak, the prime minister, and Shaikh Mohammad Al Abdullah, the information minister, were each grilled once.

According to a poll conducted by local Arabic daily Al Seyassah daily, 64 per cent of Kuwaiti men and women said that the "current parliamentary majority has crossed all red lines and has begun controlling the constitutional powers in the country."

Only one-third of the respondents said that the majority bloc, made up mainly of tribesmen and Islamist lawmakers, performed their legislative and supervisory duties without crossing any red line.


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