KUWAIT: The national assembly is set to discuss today whether to go ahead with debating a grilling against Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah over alleged government failure to implement development programs and other charges.

The grilling was filed by opposition MP Abdulkarim Al-Kandari who charged the prime minister of failing to perform his job as the head of the council of ministers which is responsible for drawing and implementing public policies and development plans.

A grilling against the premier several weeks ago by MPs Mohammad Al-Mutair and Shuaib Al-Muwaizri was sent to the assembly legal and legislative committee which ruled that the grilling breached the constitution. Based on the committee decision, the national assembly scrapped the grilling and rejected its debate. It was unclear if the assembly will follow the same procedure especially with the government having enough support to take whatever decision it deems suitable.

But Kandari’s grilling was backed by strong constitutional arguments that the prime minister is responsible for the issues and allegations he is making in the grilling. In the grilling, the lawmaker also insisted that the prime minister is responsible for the failure of the government to implement key policies on correcting the demographic structure which resulted in expatriates reaching 3.36 million against just 1.4 million citizens. He insisted that the prime minister is responsible for the council of ministers’ conceding parts of its responsibilities like allowing the Amiri Diwan to carry out key projects that are essentially the work of the government.
Kandari charged that the council of ministers under Sheikh Jaber had failed to implement the necessary policies to cut spending and also failed to safeguard national unity and identity with regards to the controversial issue of using illegal methods to get Kuwaiti citizenship.

The assembly is also expected to decide whether to discuss a draft law calling to impose a five-percent tax on the remittances of expatriates living and working in the country. MP Khalil Al-Saleh collected signatures of several MPs to accord this bill priority in discussion especially that this week’s assembly sessions will be the last during the month of Ramadan and most of sessions after the holy month will be allocated to debating budgets.
MP Bader Al-Mulla in the meantime said yesterday that he will file to grill Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf after Eid Al-Fitr on issues like public debt, the sovereign wealth fund, customs and the social security institution. He said that another MP may take part in the grilling.

By B Izzak