KUWAIT: MP Khalil Abul, one of three lawmakers who have vowed to grill Oil Minister Bakheet Al-Rasheedi, reiterated yesterday that they will file to grill the minister or the person replacing him after reports that Rasheedi may have offered his resignation. The new warning comes following ambiguity whether he has submitted his resignation or not. Reports a few days ago said that the minister decided to quit, but informed sources said yesterday the minister has not resigned.

The minister came under sharp criticism after an investigation report allegedly implicated him and top oil executives of squandering public funds and committing violations. The report was prepared by a committee appointed by the government following a grilling against the minister in May in which the minister was accused of squandering billions of dinars of public funds and delays in mega projects. The minister had denied the allegations.

According to lawmakers, the report confirmed a number of violations. At the opening session of the new National Assembly term in October, MPs demanded that the minister provide copies of the report to the Assembly. After initially refusing, the minister provided a copy to the Assembly secretariat for MPs to see it.

The Assembly’s legal and legislative committee meanwhile said yesterday it has received the grilling against the prime minister filed by opposition MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri. The Assembly decided on Nov 27 to refer the grilling to the committee to study if it is in line with the constitution after Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah told the Assembly the grilling was unconstitutional.

The grilling relates to the government’s failure in dealing with unprecedented heavy rains that caused severe damage in various areas of the country. Head of the committee MP Khaled Al-Shatti said the panel will say if the grilling is constitutional or not after meeting with the lawmaker who filed the grilling. It was not immediately known if Muwaizri will accept an invitation by the panel to explain his viewpoint, because he has rejected the referral, saying the move is against the law.
A committee formed by the Assembly to investigate what happened during the rains will discuss today with the health and awqaf ministers damage caused to health facilities and mosques and what should be done to avoid this in the future.

By B Izzak