Opposition MPs want to quiz Kuwait finance minister

AFP , Monday 7 May 2012

Four Kuwaiti opposition MPs filed two separate requests on Monday to question Finance Minister Mustafa al-Shamali over alleged financial and administrative irregularities

Three MPs have submitted charges against financial minister accusing him of being responsible for wide-ranging violations in the ministry and several departments under him, including the oil-rich emirate's sovereign wealth fund.

A fourth opposition MP, Obaid al-Wasmi,  filed a separate request to quiz the minister over alleged violations in state-owned properties, bank loans and collecting of state funds from abroad.

Under Kuwaiti law, the two grillings are expected to be debated together on May 22. They could lead to a no-confidence motion which requires the support of just 25 MPs in the 50-seat parliament to vote Shamali out of office after more than six years in the post.

The opposition has the support of more than 30 MPs following its impressive victory in the February snap polls which came after the resignation of the previous government and dissolving of the parliament.
The new parliament has already grilled the prime minister and the information minister and is scheduled to question Tuesday the interior minister, all senior members of the Al-Sabah ruling family.

The three grillings were filed by supporters of the previous government and had failed to secure the backing of the opposition.
Kuwait, OPEC's third largest producer, has been rocked by a series of political crises that led to the resignation of the cabinet about eight times and dissolving of the parliament on four occasions.

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