Kuwait MP files to quiz minister over irregularities

AFP , Tuesday 29 Mar 2011

Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad was called out for parliamentary questioning on grounds he should have suspended ministers signaled out by Audit Bureau report

A Kuwaiti MP Tuesday filed to question Information Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah in parliament over alleged financial and administrative irregularities and failure to perform his duty.

Independent MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan claimed that Sheikh Ahmad, also the oil minister, has failed to take action against senior information ministry officials implicated in administrative and financial wrongdoings.

He said that the Audit Bureau, the oil-rich emirate's accounting watchdog, has convicted those officials in corruption cases in a report in September and recommended that the minister take action.

"The minister kept those officials in their posts although they were convicted by the Audit Bureau. He should have suspended them," pending a probe, said Duwaisan, who was an information ministry employee before becoming an MP.

The lawmaker also charged that the minister, a member of the ruling family, has failed to perform his duty mainly by not applying the law on private television and radio stations, especially with regards to funding.

The questioning in parliament is expected to take place after two weeks. It could lead to a no-confidence motion which if passed will dismiss the minister.

Last week two liberal MPs filed to question deputy premier for economic affairs Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah over corruption allegations worth $900 million and is expected to be debated next week.

Independent Shiite MP Saleh Ashur said on Monday he will file to quiz Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah within 48 hours over a controversy on the Bahrain crisis where authorities crushed a Shiite-led protest.

The opposition Popular Action Bloc has also threatened to file to question Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah over a variety of issues.

The premier and the three ministers are senior members of the Al-Sabah ruling family.

Other MPs have threatened to question the ministers of health, education, commerce and finance.

The Gulf state has been rocked by a series of political crises over the past five years that saw the resignation of five cabinets and parliament dissolved three times.

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