MP voices reser­va­tions on Omair’s reshuf­fle plans

Par­lia­ment re­fuses lifting im­mu­nity from two MPs

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL - By A Saleh and KUNA

MP Ah­mad Al-Qud­haibi yes­ter­day re­asserted the ‘ab­so­lute right’ of His High­ness the Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah to con­duct cab­i­net reshuf­fles and ap­point min­is­ters to his cab­i­net. The law­maker was com­ment­ing on the sit­u­a­tion re­gard­ing Oil Min­is­ter Ali Al-Omair, who has been the sub­ject of ma­jor crit­i­cism in the par­lia­ment re­gard­ing his poli­cies in hir­ing se­nior of­fi­cials at the state’s main oil com­pa­nies. On that re­gard, Qud­haibi, also the rap­por­teur of the par­lia­ment’s le­gal and leg­isla­tive af­fairs com­mit­tee, urged the premier and the gov­ern­ment to take into con­sid­er­a­tion that a grilling mo­tion had been also filed against the re­sign­ing Min­is­ter of Pub­lic Works, Min­is­ter of Elec­tric­ity and Wa­ter Ah­mad Al-Jas­sar, not­ing that this is­sue had to be set­tled be­fore reshuf­fling Omair. “We will not al­low avoid­ing the grilling mo­tion by reshuf­fling” he said.

Re­as­sign­ment

Qud­haibi was com­ment­ing on news­pa­per re­ports which sug­gested that Omair is most likely to be as­signed with the Min­istry of Pub­lic Works’ port­fo­lio, while Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and Fi­nance Min­is­ter Anas Al-Saleh would take over the oil min­istry’s port­fo­lio on in­terim ba­sis. State Min­is­ter of Cab­i­net Af­fairs Sheikh Mo­ham­mad Al-Ab­dul­lah Al-Sabah had been as­signed as the Act­ing Min­is­ter of Elec­tric­ity and Wa­ter af­ter Jas­sar sub­mit­ted his res­ig­na­tion last Septem­ber af­ter a court sen­tenced him and 14 for­mer and cur­rent of­fi­cials from the min­istry to a two-year jail term and dis­missal from ser­vice, with an op­tion to pay KD 1,000 to sus­pend the im­pris­on­ment. They were also fined KD 20,000 each. The sen­tence was passed over the so-called elec­tric­ity emer­gency deal that cost the coun­try hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in a ma­jor cor­rup­tion scan­dal in 2007. Jas­sar was a se­nior min­istry of­fi­cial when the graft scan­dal took place as he was a mem­ber of a com­mit­tee that sanc­tioned im­port­ing a num­ber of power gen­er­a­tors that were found to be faulty and sec­ond­hand. Last week, MP Saadoun Ham­mad filed a re­quest to grill Jas­sar over al­leged fi­nan­cial and ad­min­is­tra­tive vi­o­la­tions in the air­port ex­pan­sion project.

MPs’ im­mu­nity

Separately, the par­lia­ment’s le­gal and leg­isla­tive af­fairs com­mit­tee re­fused in its meet­ing yes­ter­day lifting par­lia­men­tary im­mu­nity from MPs Saleh Ashour and Ab­d­u­al­lah Al-Maay­ouf. The com­mit­tee also for­warded a pro­posed law on fundrais­ing to Health, So­cial Af­fairs and La­bor Com­mit­tee, Qud­haibi, said in state­ment af­ter the meet­ing. Mean­while, the com­mit­tee has de­layed tak­ing a de­ci­sion on a bill re­form­ing the law of na­tional fund for the de­vel­op­ment of small and medium en­ter­prises to the next meet­ing for fur­ther study.

in an­other de­vel­op­ment, MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan said yes­ter­day that lib­er­ties are be­ing vi­o­lated at the Kuwait In­ter­na­tional

Banned books

Book Fair as five books from Oman had so far been con­fis­cated. “The in­for­ma­tion min­istry must work on re­turn­ing those books,” he de­manded, point­ing out that the min­istry had brought ac­count­abil­ity upon it­self and that it is ought to ex­plain why those books were banned. Com­ment­ing on the par­lia­men­tary ed­u­ca­tional af­fairs com­mit­tee’s meet­ing yes­ter­day, Duwaisan said that the com­mit­tee did not dis­cuss swine flu cases in some schools be­cause only iso­lated cases were so far dis­cov­ered, adding that a Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cial must be sum­moned to dis­cuss this is­sue.

Oil min­is­ter Ali Al-Omair

MP Ah­mad Al-Qud­haibi

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