[Kuwait] MP Demands Replacement Of Expats In Parliament Jobs

18 JUN 2020

As a campaign in Kuwait to curb the numbers of foreigners in the country intensifies, a lawmaker has proposed replacing expatriates in roles at the country’s parliament, Gulf News reports.

MP Osama Al Chahin said he has tabled his proposal to "Kuwaitise" all permanent and temporary advisory jobs in the legislature to the National Assembly or the parliament.

"My proposal is based on the vital importance of giving all public jobs to Kuwaitis," the MP said, according to reporting by Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai. He continued, "Advisory jobs are very important in phrasing the [parliament's] reports, recommendations and results."

Osama Al Chahin called for the replacement of all foreigners working in the various committees and offices of the assembly within a timeframe the legislature would establish and make public. 

Foreigners account are 3.4 million of Kuwait's 4.8 million population. The number of foreign workers employed in the Kuwaiti parliament is unclear.

Several Kuwaiti public figures have made demands to reduce numbers of expatriates in the country, over recent weeks, and accused expats of increasing the COVID-19 threat and putting additional pressure on Kuwait’s country’s health facilities.

In early June, the country said it would no longer be employing expatriates in its oil sector. 

In May, a quota system for employing foreigners was presented in a draft bill by a number of Kuwaiti lawmakers. They reportedly suggested the quota as a way to redress the country’s demographic imbalance.

The proposed quota system suggests the number of Indian workers should not exceed 15 per cent of the overall Kuwaiti population and that the total number of Egyptian expatriates should not exceed 10 per cent. Indians and Egyptians are among the largest foreign communities in Kuwait.

The authors of the draft said that this demographic imbalance has created problems over recent years which have grown more obvious and serious since the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a move to encourage illegal migrants to leave the country, in April the Kuwaiti government announced a pardon plan. The pardon offers illegal expatriates exemption from punishment and free flights to their country of origin. Reportedly thousands of expats have applied for the amnesty and repatriation.

Source: Gulf News