In a joint statement, 13 MPs officially voiced objection to the annulment of the parliamentary membership of MPs Jam’an Al-Harbash and Waleed Al-Tabtabaei despite the decision of the Constitutional Court that declared the unconstitutionality of Article 16 of internal parliamentary regulations on Dec 19, 2018.
These MPs include Abdulwahab Al-Babtain, Mohammed Al-Mutairi, Al-Humaidi Al-Subai’I, Omar Al-Tabtabaei, Khaled Al-Otaibi, Naif Al-Ajmi, Abdullah Al-Enizi, Thamer Al-Suwait, Adel Al-Damkhi, Mohammed Al-Mutair, Osama Al-Shaheen, Mubarak Al-Hajraf and Mohammed Al-Dalaal.
Although these MPs believe in the integrity of the judicial authority, they claimed the verdict was issued to disturb the constitutional balance between State authorities.
They pointed out this is tantamount to “taking away the independence of the legislative authority.” They cited Article 50 of the Constitution which stipulates: “In conformity with the provisions of the Constitution, the system of government shall be established on the basis of separation and cooperation of powers. No authority shall be allowed to waive all or part of its jurisdiction as prescribed in this Constitution.”
Since the parliamentary internal regulations, Election Law and Constitution state that the authority to take any decision regarding the continuity of a lawmaker as representative of the public is given to the National Assembly, the 13 MPs affirmed that the membership of their two colleagues is valid; hence, the latter shall continue serving in the current Assembly.
They asserted the recent verdict of the Constitutional Court does not affect this in anyway out of respect for the will of the public, particularly since the issue was addressed through the democratic act of voting in accordance with Article 16 of the parliamentary internal regulations before the verdict was issued.
They added that voting is an act not affected by changes in the government or the courts. Concluding the statement, the MPs stressed that they respect the authority of the courts and the government, and they are not challenging such authority. They hope the same respect is given to the Assembly because the lawmakers represent the will of the public and the statement is a disclosure of such will.
On the other hand, the statement provoked the ire of some of the remaining MPs including Ahmed Al- Fadel who stated this does not represent the will of the Assembly in spite of its title, “Statement from the National Assembly.” Al-Fadel asserted this statement is embarrassing, considering five of these 13 MPs are lawyers; adding that they have been warned against challenging the verdict but it seems the warning fell on deaf ears, so the situation will be dealt with “inside the hall”.
SOURCE : ARABTIMES