Kuwaiti lawmakers demand oil minister’s resignation


The liberal National Action bloc, which has eight deputies in the 50-seat parliament, said in a statement it had demanded the minister’s resignation at a recent meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al Ahmed Al Sabah. Deputies have attacked Oil Minister Sheikh Ali Al Jarrah Al Sabah over his comments that he sought advice on oil issues from his relative and former oil minister Ali Al Khalifa Al Sabah, who was investigated by prosecutors over the alleged embezzlement of $ 130 million at Kuwait Oil Tanker Co. (KOTC).

A special ministerial court dropped the case on a technicality in 2001. Kuwaiti newspapers said Sheikh Ali might apologise in parliament tomorrow in an attempt to placate deputies who have called on the government to seek compensation from suspects in the KOTC case.

A key member of the 9-strong Popular Bloc, Musallam Al Barrak, said last week Sheikh Ali’s stay in office was harmful to the oil sector on which Kuwait depends. The Gulf Arab state’s parliament is locked in a long row with the government that led to the resignation of the last cabinet.


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