MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri

KUWAIT: Leading opposition lawmaker Shuaib Al-Muwaizri yesterday carried out his threat and filed to grill Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah for alleged mismanagement over heavy rainfall and its devastation effects on the country. Muwaizri last week issued an ultimatum to the prime minister to resign after the government allegedly failed to take the necessary actions to face heavy rains that lashed the country in the past two weeks, causing heavy damage. The lawmaker had promised that if the government does not resign over the issue, he will file to grill the prime minister. He was among several MPs who called on the government to resign.

National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem said he received the grilling and that it will be most likely debated on Nov 27, but it could be discussed today if the prime minister agrees. The grilling is based on the issue of rain and alleges that heavy rains that lashed Kuwait on Nov 9 revealed “unquestionable facts” that the prime minister has failed in carrying out his job of coordinating between various ministries in carrying out their duties in countering catastrophes and disasters.

It also alleges the absence of a clear policy by the government in facing catastrophes and crises, which resulted in the death of two persons, besides heavy damage to public and private properties, and caused a state of panic among the public. The grilling states that although the heavy rains took place in time of peace, the government failed to effectively deal with it, and “everyone has clearly seen the government’s confusion in coordinating to deal with the effects of the heavy rainfall”.

Opposition MP Mohammad Al-Mutair said there is no need to even debate the grilling and the Assembly should proceed straight into voting against the prime minister. Under Kuwaiti law, following the debate of the grilling, at least 10 lawmakers can file a non-cooperation motion against the prime minister and it must be accepted by a simple majority of elected MPs (currently 49) to be approved. In this case, the issue goes to HH the Amir, who will decide on the situation and can change the prime minister or call for fresh elections. But based on the available opinion of lawmakers, the grilling is likely to end with a debate only, or 10 MPs may file a non-cooperation motion, but it will not be approved.

Meanwhile, the government continued its assessment of the situation and has assigned a joint committee to study cases of people who suffered damages in order to be compensated. The council of ministers yesterday decided to pay the blood money for Ahmad Al-Fadhli, a stateless man who died because of the rain. MPs have called on the government to compensate people for damages caused by the heavy rains. The National Assembly holds its first working session in the new term and the first meeting after the heavy rains today. The issue is expected to be debated in the Assembly.

By B Izzak