By B Izzak
KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday named outgoing Prime Minister HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to form the next Cabinet, weeks after its resignation. Sheikh Sabah tendered his Cabinet’s resignation last month, less than a month of its formation, after three opposition MPs filed to grill him over allegations of violating the constitution and backing the election of Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem.
Under the Kuwaiti constitution, there is no time limit for the premier to submit his candidates for the new Cabinet. A number of opposition MPs have called on the premier not to retain a number of ministers, especially Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh and foreign minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Sabah.
MP Yousef Al-Ghareeb called on Sheikh Sabah to adopt qualifications and competence as the main parameter for selecting the 15-member Cabinet. Seven leading opposition lawmakers issued a brief statement immediately after Sheikh Sabah was reappointed as premier, insisting that they totally reject any agreement to provide the premier with any immunity against political questioning and popular supervision.
The statement, signed by MPs Mohammad Al-Mutair, Khaled Al-Otaibi, Shuaib Al-Muwaizri, Abdulkarim Al-Kandari, Bader Al-Dahoum, Thamer Al-Suwait and Mubarak Al-Hajraf, stressed that the issues raised by the grilling filed against the prime minister are still effective. The grilling filed last month by MPs Dahoum, Otaibi and Suwait was backed by 38 MPs, well over the 25 votes needed to declare non-cooperation with the prime minister, which could either lead to dismissing the Cabinet or dissolving the National Assembly.
The Kuwaiti Progressive Movement meanwhile said in a statement that it was hoped a new prime minister would be selected to form a new Cabinet that would overcome the political and financial crises facing the country through national agreements to fight corruption and apply reforms. The movement warned that non-agreement and failure to respond to people’s demands are likely to lead to a political deadlock and complicate the situation.
Meanwhile, MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji asked Minister of Justice Nawaf Al-Yaseen about the names of current and former MPs and state officials who had been interrogated by the public prosecution on charges of profiteering from public funds, harming public funds and forgery. He also demanded to know the amount of money that has been stolen and if the investigations have proven that there had been a criminal agreement between those accused of stealing public funds.