Kuwait’s parliament has voted to allow stateless people (Bidoon) to join the army, according to a report in Gulf News.
The breakthrough decision was adopted by 52 of the 58 members present at the second debate of the motion for a new army law. Five members opposed it and one abstained from voting.
The parliament is made up of 50 elected members and 15 appointed ministers.
The motion cleared the first of the two debates on February 13.
One lawmaker suggested that the army stipulate priorities in recruiting people for the army.
Kuwaitis should come first, followed by the sons of Kuwaiti mothers and foreign fathers, Bidoons and those who have advanced expertise and qualifications, MP Askar Al Enezi, the head of the interior and defence committee, said.
However, some lawmakers rejected the idea of including a list of recruitment priorities in the law, saying that it could mean barring many others down the list from joining if there were no vacancies left.
Lawmaker Fihad Al Enezi said that more than 25,000 Bidoons had signed up to join the army in one week.
The motion was referred to the government.
“The support of the parliament, especially the interior and defence committee, has been tremendous and I thank all members for their efforts which indicated a laudable spirit of national cohesion that brings all people together,” Defence Minister Shaikh Nasser Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah said following the vote.