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Constitutional amendments must take place in parliament - Speaker Al-Ghanim
April 29, 2014, 9:41 am
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Parliament speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim

Parliament speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim said Monday amending the constitution should take place within constitutional mechanisms and "not by threats through street protests."

Al-Ghanim, in a session of the Arab Media Forum, said "those who want amendments to take place through street (protests) are making a coup on the constitution, but amendments via the the National Assembly will be read and examined ...

"... amendment should take place through the house and in line with the constitutional mechanisms and what the ruler and ruled have agreed upon," he added.

Al-Ghanim said the Kuwaiti media have witnessed huge leaps that started from granting lisecnes to issue new publications and TV channels to social media networks. "Kuwait is not different than any other democratic country regarding the high ceiling of freedom which must be responsible," he said.

On disputes among Arabian Gulf countries, Al-Ghanim said Kuwaiti media addressed the disputes in a "rational manner," and His Highness the Amir's wisdom contributed to addressing these problems "which are almost solved."

Regional conflicts and crises, he added, should encourage the Gulf people to unite. On his meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rohani on sidelines of a conference of parliamentarians of the Islamic countries in Tehran, Al-Ghanim said he conveyed cautious optimism of Kuwait and the Gulf countries vis-a-vis talks between the Islamic Republic and the Arab countries.

He said when he asked Rohani if Iran would attack Kuwait, which housed a US military base, if the Islamic Republic was attacked, Rohani said "I want you (Al-Ghanim) to convey to His Highness the Amir that Iran cannot attack a neighbor and Muslim country.

"If Kuwait is attacked then we are ready to defend it if asked," Al-Ghanim quoted Rohani as saying. Al-Ghanim said stability in the Gulf was based on three pillars: the GCC, Iraq and Iran.

He, however, described the situation in Iraq, which was holding parliamentary elections, as "bad and dangerous. We have conveyed to the European Parliament and other capitals that the explosion of the situation in Iraq will be affecting capitals around the globe."

Al-Ghanim was asked about Egypt and said he was committed to the Kuwaiti government's foreign policy regarding the developments in the North African country.

Domestically, Al-Ghanim said Kuwaiti citizens were fed up from political instability, affirming that the parliament sought to achieve the minimum aspirations of citizens, particularly in the housing domain.

He cited the Minister of State for Housing Affairs Yasser Abul as saying that the government would distribute 12,000 housing units in 2014.

On interpellations, Al-Ghanim said the constitution-compliant grillings should be answered by His Highness the Prime Minister and the Ministers. However the MPs were the ones determining "what is constitutional or not."

Al-Ghanim underlined that he supported "the expansion of freedom but not in contradiction with the law nor interfere with others in order to prevent chaos."

Asked about political parties, he said they would enrich democracy in Kuwait. Political parties already exist in Kuwait but declaring them officially will not have positive impacts, he said, because this needed constitutional changes.

"Any change or amendment of the constitution should take place in the appropriate atmosphere and consensus and dialogue not through threats," said Al-Ghanim.

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