Speaker proposes bill to resolve nationality issues

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: National Assembly Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun on Sunday presented a draft law that aims to resolve problems of Kuwaiti citizenship applicants, including the decades-old plight of stateless people or bedoons. Saadoun’s draft legislation addresses three main groups – people who applied for Kuwaiti nationality to the Higher Nationality Commission at the Cabinet, and applicants through the Martyrs’ Office at the Amiri Diwan covering relatives of non-Kuwaitis who lost their lives in battles.

The third and largest group by far is an estimated 120,000 bedoons, who or their forefathers had entered Kuwait on or before 1965 and were counted in the 1965 census. These people are listed under the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI). The draft law states that the ministry of interior, after one year of this law becoming effective, will start listing all the names of applicants for Kuwaiti nationality in the three categories.

All people listed under the three groups will be given a civil ID valid for a specific period in line with PACI rules. The civil IDs will be renewed until their case is finally settled. The bill states that all the names gathered by the interior ministry under the three groups will be published by the ministry within six months of collecting them.

The bill gives every Kuwaiti citizen the right to object to any name on the lists, supported by authentic documents. The draft legislation stipulates that the government must provide a comprehensive and final solution to the first two groups within one year of publishing the names. The government must provide a comprehensive and final solution to the third group within a period to be set by the Cabinet.

Under the final solution, Kuwaiti citizenship will be granted to people in the lists who fulfill the preconditions in line with the needs of the country and its interests. This does not mean that all people in the lists will be naturalized, the bill states. Until their cases are settled, people listed under this law will enjoy all civil rights including all official documents, the right to work, medical care, education and driving licenses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

× Contact us for news, article submissions, and SEO services.