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Anti-expat Kuwait MP calls for naturalised widows to lose citizenship

Safaa al-Hashem has repeatedly proposed hardline policies against expats in Kuwait [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 January, 2018

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Controversial Kuwaiti MP Safaa al-Hashem has called for naturalised wives of Kuwaiti men to have their citizenship revoked once their husbands die.
Kuwait's only female MP, known for her controversial stances, has called for revoking the citizenship of widows of Kuwaiti men.

"The Kuwaiti citizenship of the naturalised wife should be rescinded after her husband's death so that she will not seek the Kuwaiti citizenship for her children from her new husband who will be a foreigner from her country of origin," MP Safaa al-Hashem posted on Twitter.

Hashem, who is known for her inflammatory rhetoric against expats and has pledged to address the demographic imbalance in the country, said "foreign" widows of Kuwaiti men had no reason to keep the Kuwaiti citizenship they had acquired, Kuwaiti daily Al Seyassah reported.

The lawmaker, who is also chairman of the Women and Families Committee in the Kuwaiti parliament, said members would be discussing the issues of the wives of Kuwaiti men with the Minister of Interior.

Hashem also sparked controversy last week after she claimed that 300,000 people out of 1.3 million "real" Kuwaitis have forged documents, describing those with fake citizenships as "rats".

Other hard-line policies Hashem has proposed to reduce immigration include forcing non-Kuwaitis to pay a tax for walking on streets and banning them from having access to free medicine in hospital, regardless of how poor they may be.

Lawmakers have proposed other discriminatory measures including deporting foreign teachers, banning expatriates from driving and a "15 year cap" on foreign workers in the country.

Expats currently make up 70 percent of Kuwait's 4.3 million population.

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