Kuwait MPs plan to quiz ministers, raising pressure on gov't

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
(Image for illustrative purposes).

(Image for illustrative purposes).

Kuwaiti lawmakers said on Monday they wanted to question the oil and interior ministers in parliament, a move that could rekindle political tensions in the Gulf Arab state after several months of relative stability.

Kuwait's elected parliament has been caught in a long-running power struggle with the appointed government, in which ruling family members hold some top posts. The political row has delayed reforms and investment in Kuwait, a major oil producer.

Elections in December, the fifth in six years, brought in lawmakers seen as more cooperative with the government, fuelling investor hopes that the cabinet would increase infrastructure spending and pass economic reforms.

However, tensions have once again risen between MPs and the government despite an initial period of cooperation.

MPs said they would call Oil Minister Hani Hussein in for questioning over a $2.2 billion compensation payment to Dow Chemical Co by Kuwait's state chemicals company this month, as well as other issues, state news agency KUNA said.

They also demanded to question Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Hamoud al-Sabah, a senior ruling family member, over allegations including violation of the constitution, non-cooperation with parliament and neglecting judicial rules.

Along with rejecting legislation, such sessions are one of the main ways MPs assert their influence under limited parliamentary powers. In the past such sessions have led to no confidence votes that can oust a minister.

Analysts say MPs often use the requests to settle personal scores and win support from their constituencies, but MPs argue they are holding the government to account in the most democratic country in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

Finance Minister Mustafa Shamali was forced to step down in May last year after such a session but was reinstated in the current cabinet. In 2011 the prime minister, a nephew of the ruling emir, resigned after pressure from MPs and the street.

Kuwait has managed to avoid the kind of uprising seen in Arab Spring countries, but the political row intensified last year and thousands protested against changes to the voting system introduced by Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah and other local issues.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Saudi Arabia adds to oil power with new refineries

Saudi Arabia adds to oil power with new refineries

Two state-of-the-art plants set to redefine Gulf kingdom's role...

Gulf economies edge towards reform as oil price slides

Gulf economies edge towards reform as oil price slides

Countries mull moves to cut spending on lavish cradle-to-grave...

The curious case of David Haigh

The curious case of David Haigh

The story of how the former Leeds United boss went from football...

1
Most Popular
Most Discussed
  • 20
    Why Dubai should consider removing the rent cap

    Not even one comment supporting the author. I wonder if he is trying to create a bubble. more

    Monday, 24 November 2014 2:25 PM - Anil
  • 14
    Life sentence for London hammer attacker

    The death sentence is a free pass. The purpose of punishment has always been to provide a lesson for misbehaving. No one learns a lesson by dying. Life... more

    Friday, 21 November 2014 2:02 PM - LordLands
  • 5
    Is this the end of F1?

    Compare this to WEC and you see a stark difference. The 'formula' for WEC is much more wider and more accomodating. They have been runnning hybrids for... more

    Monday, 24 November 2014 2:30 PM - Vincent