Kuwait parliament to postpone February sessions

January 27, 2011

A new crisis is looming in the Kuwaiti parliament following a bitter standoff between the speaker and angry lawmakers that led to the postponement of the weekly session.

A decision by the parliament not to hold any session in February, a month of grandiose national celebrations, was resisted by some MPs who voiced their opposition to the move and insisted on keeping the weekly sessions.

The lawmakers said that they wanted to use the February sessions to grill the interior minister over the alleged abuses and torture practises plaguing his ministry and which were highlighted this month by the death of a detainee.

Three MPs on Monday filed for questioning the minister amid reports of leniency towards officers and staff who have been reportedly engaged in acts of torture and beatings.

MPs Waleed Al Tabtabai, Shuaib Al Muwaizri and Salem Namlan had hoped to be given the opportunity to quiz the minister on February 8, but the postponement of all sessions in February meant they would have to wait until March.

Speaker Jassem Al Khorafi said that the MPs could call for an extraordinary session to proceed with the grilling, but his suggestion was rejected by the MPs who insisted on an open vote on whether the February sessions should be maintained. Al Khorafi, seemingly exasperated with their insistence, twice suspended the parliamentary session before deciding to postpone to Wednesday.

His decision prompted a negative reaction from MP Mislim Al Barak who told him that he had no concern about the blood of Mohammad Al Mutairi, the Kuwaiti national who was tortured to death while in police custody.

The parliament earlier agreed to work on dissuading MP Husain Al Qallaf to withdraw his resignation.

The lawmaker this month said that he was quitting the parliament amid a deep controversy over the merit of quizzing the prime minister and the tension that accompanied it.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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