Damkhi files to grill Aseeri

Adel Al-Damkhi

KUWAIT: Islamist opposition MP Adel Al-Damkhi yesterday filed to grill Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Ghadeer Aseeri barely a week after she took office, over allegations that she challenged the integrity of MPs. In his brief grilling, Damkhi charged the minister of violating the principles of cooperation between the National Assembly and the government by issuing statements deemed offensive to lawmakers.

Acting Assembly Speaker Essa Al-Kandari said the grilling will be listed on the Jan 7 session’s agenda for a possible debate unless the minister invokes her right to delay the debate for two more weeks. The minister became a target of criticism by several opposition MPs for tweets she posted on her account some eight years ago in which she declared her total support for anti-government protests in neighboring Bahrain and for criticizing the dispatching of Gulf troops to Bahrain to support the government.

Damkhi said the minister should not escape accountability by deleting the tweets soon after she was selected as a minister in the Cabinet for the first time. The lawmaker was particularly infuriated over a statement by Aseeri in which she described criticism by MPs as rumors aimed at their electoral bases, adding this represents a direct accusation against the Kuwaiti people too.

Another opposition MP Mohammad Al-Barrak had vowed to grill the prime minister for including Aseeri in the Cabinet, but two days ago he said he had decided to delay any action against the premier to give him sufficient time to approve a general amnesty. Damkhi also said the minister violated her oath by falsely accusing MPs of spreading lies and rumors, although what MPs spoke about was fully mentioned on the minister’s Twitter account. MPs Abdullah Fahhad, Riyadh Al-Adasani and Mohammad Hayef declared their backing of the grilling.

By B Izzak