Kuwaiti MPs clash over Sheikh Ahmad


Last week, Saraawi clashed with Sheikh Ahmad himself over accusations of misappropriation of funds. Yesterday, Sheikh Ahmad was not in the Assembly when the exchanges began. State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Al-Roudhan defended Sheikh Ahmad. Also, MP Khalaf Dumaitheer defended the minister, alleging Saraawi had a personal problem with Sheikh Ahmad.

Saraawi responded by saying that Sheikh Ahmad has control over a number of MPs, one of them is Dumaitheer, who was angered and made several accusations against Saraawi. Later, MP Mubarak Al-Khrainej defended Sheikh Ahmad which prompted Saraawi to charge that Khrainej is the second MP controlled by Sheikh Ahmad.

The main confrontation happened when MP Saadoun Hammad strongly defended Sheikh Ahmad, telling Saraawi that he should stop criticizing members of the ruling family for no reason. Saraawi then charged that Hammad is the third MP to be under the control of Sheikh Ahmad. At this stage, the two MPs exchanged harsh words and insults that forced acting speaker Abdullah Al-Roumi to adjourn the session.

When the session was resumed, Roumi scrapped the whole conversation from the minutes and asked the media not to publish the details of the fight. The session was called to complete the debate on the Amiri Address delivered by the prime minister at the inaugural session of the new Assembly on May 31.

In their speeches, MPs focused on urging the government to speed up presenting its program and to start immediately with tangible projects to improve the infrastructure of most public services in the country that have deteriorated over the past several years. MP Aseel Al-Awadhi however criticized Islamist MPs who objected to her and another female MP for not wearing the hijab, saying that she respects the sharia law guidelines stipulated in the election law but believes that hijab is not one of them.

MP Musallam Al-Barrak called for an investigation into what he called a fraud in the contracts of the electricity and water ministry and alleged that highly influential people were involved in the scandal that cost public funds several hundred million dinars. He called on the new electricity and water minister Bader Al-Azemi to take action against all those who were involved in the contracts.

Also, 17 lawmakers submitted a proposal to extend the current Assembly term to complete important issues like safeguarding the rights of Kuwaitis employed in the private sector and women’s social rights. The Assembly did not vote on the proposal and is likely to do so next week. The Assembly bureau decided last week to close the term on June 25 barring major and necessary developments.

But this will primarily depend on the developments of the debate of the grilling of Interior Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Khaled Al-Sabah scheduled to take place on June 23. If 10 MPs file a no-confidence motion, the Assembly must wait for at least seven days to be able to vote on the motion.

In a related development, the interior minister yesterday referred a contract for election billboards to the public prosecution for an investigation. The contract is the first point in the grilling which alleged that public funds were squandered in the contract through a deliberate exaggeration in the cost.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *