Kuwaiti Emir urges MPs to give government a chance


The new lineup has come under pressure from parliament just three months after the last government resigned to avert a no-confidence vote against the then-health minister.

Deputies are now criticising Oil Minister Shaikh Ali Al Jarrah Al Sabah, some calling for him to be questioned or even to resign for seeking advice from a predecessor who had been investigated for alleged embezzlement.

"Give them a chance," new Kuwaiti daily Al Jarida yesterday quoted Kuwait’s Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah as saying.

"Is it possible to understand this situation? The ministers are not able to work … and they have assumed their responsibilities for only 57 days."

The emir has the last say in politics in the major Opec oil producer but tends only to enter the fray to resolve major issues.

The oil minister came under pressure after a newspaper carried an interview in which he said he sought advice on oil issues from Shaikh Ali Al Khalifa Al Sabah, a former oil minister and relative who was investigated over the alleged embezzlement of $ 130 million (Dh477 million) at Kuwait Oil Tanker Co (KOTC).

Shaikh Khalifa has denied any wrongdoing and a ministers’ court dropped the case against him on a technicality in 2001.

But Kuwait’s ruler said Shaikh Khalifa was still being investigated.

"This Ali Al Khalifa is before the prosecution and being tried," the paper quoted him as saying.


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