KUWAIT: Kuwait and Iraq plan to launch a jointly operated airlines using a part of the compensations paid to the Kuwait Airways for destroying its fleet during the 1990/91 invasion. Sources indicated that the contract to establish the company ‘is almost ready’ and is to be signed sometime before the end of the year “during a planned visit by HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah to Baghdad.”
The Kuwaiti and Iraqi government reached a settlement recently concerning $500 million compensation owed by the Iraqi Airways. The agreement calls for $300 million to be paid in cash, and $200 million to be invested in a joint project. “A Kuwaiti-Iraqi technical team is currently working on preparing the formula, work mechanism and structure of the new company to be brought to life in the near future,” sources added.
The Cabinet’s development committee is expected next week to adopt a number of legal reports that prove the legality of the north Zour Power Plant and Jaber Causeway projects, as well as the state’s privatization program. According to sources, the legal opinion “proved that no violations have been committed in the placement and rewarding process for tenders of the two mega projects,” adding that speculation about suspicious practices committed by the government in these processes “are based on inaccurate information.” After projects are approved by the development committee, they will become eligible for execution after being passed by the Cabinet, added sources.
Minister of State for Planning and Development Dr Rola Dashti issued orders to reduce the budgets of three state departments “in order to save funds through fresh budgets that cut wastage while continuing to meet their financial needs effectively.” The Dashty’s decision, who is also the Minister of State for Parliament Affairs, affects the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development, the Central Statistical Office, and the Ministry of Parliament Affairs.
Meanwhile, sources said that Dashti found errors in the organizational structure of the Ministry of Parliament affairs, including “a large number of registered employees who do not perform any actual tasks”. “The minister discovered case for employees receiving salaries without reporting to offices, and others who are studying outside Kuwait without notifying their administrations,” sources said, adding that “Dashti found that the average number of employees exceeds the actual work level ministry needs, proving that appointment was done on the basis of favoritism.” The minister is expected to make an announcement regarding the issue soon, sources said.
Members of the Adalah Bloc were recently approached by opposition figure Ahmad Al-Saadoun and the Islamic Constitutional Movement(ICM) to take part in public demonstrations they plan to stage at the Iradah Square if the electoral system is left to the Constitutional Court’s jurisdiction. The members, however, did not give a different word about attending the gatherings.
“While members of the Adalah Bloc reject the notion of changing constituencies’ distribution or verifying the electoral system’s constitutionality with the Constitutional Court, they do not find public demonstrations a viable option because it could produce problems that further contribute to dividing the society,” explains sources close to the Islamist group.
Sources indicate that the bloc’s head Mohammad Hayef refuses to take part in demonstrations, but member Osama Al-Munawer is still leaving the door open to participation. Meanwhile, ministries reportedly plan to issue warnings to their respective labor unions against “taking part in activities outside their field of specialty within the workplace.” This comes in response to calls made by the opposition asking labor unions to boycott elections if the electoral system is changed.
In the meantime, MP Aseel Al-Awadhi accused the opposition of using the current crisis to ‘regroup,’ and the Cabinet of working to prevent them from obtaining a majority in future elections in a statement released yesterday. “The Majority Bloc is looking for a case that bring its members together after fundamental difference appeared in crucial matters,” she said, referring to the coalition of oppositionists that dominated the majority seats in the annulled 2012 parliament. “The Cabinet is looking for a way out to ensure that the 2012 scenario is not repeated in the next elections.”
Member of the annulled parliament Nabeel Al-Fadhl questioned in the meantime “figures announced by the opposition bloc which they claim is for the number of signatures collected on their petition to reject changing the electoral constituencies.”The opposition have announced that the number already exceeded 2,000. Al-Fhadhl also urged Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah to avoid submitting to the opposition’s demands or “give them the opportunity to interfere in the ruling family’s affair,” warning the premier that “the road to the Crown Prince post does not go through Al-Saadoun’s diwan”.
Speaker of the Arab League Salem Al-Deqbasi sent a condolence letter to Egyptian President Dr Mohammad Morsi, expressing consolation at the death of “martyrs of Egypt’s armed forces who were targeted by the terrorist attack in Masoura near the border city of Rafah.” Al-Deqbasi stated that the attack against the Egyptian armed forces “is an indication that the enemies are targeting the security and stability of the Arab World through targeting the security and stability of Egypt which is considered the cornerstone of Arabic national security.”