- Kuwait Times Extra
KUWAIT: Opposition MP Faisal Al-Mislem yesterday targeted a contract awarded by the previous government to a consultancy firm headed by former British prime minister Tony Blair. In a series of questions to Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, the lawmaker demanded to know the government agency that signed the contract with Blair. He asked if the contract was awarded to Blair on a personal basis or as head of a consultancy firm and if legal procedures were followed in the process.
Mislem inquired about the exact task given to Blair, the contract’s cost, names of the team selected to work with him and on what basis they were selected. The lawmaker asked if Blair completed his mission and if it achieved its results and inquired about its failures if any. He also asked if Blair’s studies had been incorporated in Kuwait’s development plan. Mislem also asked if Blair is still working on other studies. The said contract was awarded to Blair’s consultant firm several years ago at a cost exceeding KD 1 million according to local media reports. Parts of his studies were published in the local press last year.
Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali meanwhile lashed back at MP Musallam Al-Barrak’s statements on Sunday about the head of Kuwait Investment Company Bader Al-Subaie and called on him to stop making statements that harm national interests. Barrak had said that the National Assembly’s public funds committee, which he heads, will recommend to the Assembly to ask the government to suspend Subaie until an investigation on allegations of corruption have been completed. Shamali insisted in a statement that neither Barrak nor the Assembly can recommend to suspend Subaie. The minister explained that Subaie’s term at the helm of the company had been renewed for a fresh three-year term, but added that the decision was taken in December and ratified by the Kuwait Investment Authority in January.
In another development, the criminal court yesterday fined Al-Shahed newspaper and former MP Saadoun Hammad KD 10,000 each after the newspaper published a story that the Qatari premier paid 200 million riyals to a man known as Musallam. The story was later repeated by Hammad. The case was filed by the Qatari prime minister.
MP Nabeel Al-Fadl meanwhile asked the interior minister if any member of the current or previous Assembly holds American citizenship besides the Kuwaiti nationality. The lawmaker also asked for copies of the correspondence the ministry plans to undertake with the US embassy about the issue and if not, it should explain the procedure it adopted in confirming its answers. Also, MP Falah Al-Sawwagh claimed that he has learned that the Syrian regime has threatened MP Mubarak Al-Waalan. Sawwagh warned that he will hold the interior ministry responsible if any untoward incident takes place. The Assembly meanwhile starts today the delayed debate on the Amiri Address that was delivered at the opening of the new Assembly about two months ago.
By B Izzak, Staff Writer
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