National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem said yesterday he was optimistic that the next Assembly term, which opens next week, will witness constructive cooperation and production. Ghanem said that he and members of two parliamentary delegations that returned from travels abroad met yesterday with HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and heard his directives, becoming “even more optimistic” after the meeting. The lawmakers also met HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
“With His Highness the Amir in command, we will brave through the mounting waves,” Ghanem underlined. In response to a question over developments in the country’s political scene, he emphasized that the “voice of reason will prevail”. The speaker said he was confident that there is a strong majority in the Assembly that will ensure smooth running of the next term despite many threats of grillings by lawmakers. Ghanem said the Assembly will open on Tuesday next week and following the opening ceremony, it will discuss grillings against ministers and the issue of the two lawmakers who have been handed jail terms.
So far, opposition MP Riyadh Al-Adasani has filed to grill Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Adel Al-Khorafi over alleged misuse of power and other violations. Opposition lawmakers have however threatened to grill several ministers including Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan, Minister of Oil Bakheet Al-Rasheedi and others. Leading opposition MPs Mohammad Al-Mutair and Shuaib Al-Muwaizri have also vowed to grill the prime minister over alleged violations.
Ghanem said that on the opening day, the Assembly will also discuss the membership of MPs Waleed Al-Tabtabaei and Jamaan Al-Harbash who were handed jail terms, among a dozen ex-MPs and activists for storming the Assembly building in Nov 2011. The Assembly legal and legislative committee will meet early next week to prepare its report on whether their membership should be revoked amid a campaign by opposition lawmakers that the two MPs and the activists should be pardoned under a general amnesty law. Ghanem said these issues will be taken up in the first session of the Assembly, in addition to electing Assembly panels if the time is sufficient, otherwise the elections will be postponed until the next session.