Kuwaiti minister grilling gathering pace as 23 MPs support move

February 25, 2010
By

Shaikh Ahmad Al Abdullah

The move to grill the information minister following the airing of a show that allegedly denigrated Kuwait’s tribes has gathered pace among lawmakers.

“Things look bright and three more MPs have joined the 20 lawmakers who have already signed up for the quizzing of the minister,” Ali Al Deqbasi, the MP who filed to quiz Shaikh Ahmad Al Abdullah, said. “We are confident that more MPs will join us within the next few days,” he said in a statement published in the Kuwaiti media.

MP Mislim Al Barrak said that the evidence in the possession of the MPs keen on grilling the minister was enough to make other members of the parliament to call for action against him. He did not however explain the nature of the evidence.

The minister came under fire after a private television station, Al Sour, last year aired a show in which some of the guests denigrated tribesmen and said that they broke Kuwaiti law by holding dual citizenship. Tribesmen make up around half of the native population and also half of the parliament.

The station was taken off their air and its owner briefly detained. However, several MPs said that they wanted the minister to assume his responsibilities for not taking stringent action against media that “worked on dividing the country and eroding its unity.”

“We are all ready to grill the minister on March 2. It is up to the government to decide now if they want to reshuffle the cabinet or to dismiss the minister,” Al Deqbasi said. “We have the evidence and the support of the MPs so we will assume our responsibilities fully and quiz the minister and the government for failing to control the situation,” he said.

However, some MPs said that they would not support the move to grill Shaikh Ahmad on the grounds that the motion filed against him contained sharp criticism of the media.

The grilling, if it goes ahead, will be on March 2 or March 16.

Shaikh Ahmad will be the fourth information minister to be grilled in Kuwait’s history.

The Prime Minister in December made history by becoming the first sitting head of government to be grilled by parliament. He was cleared of the irregularities charged filed by MP Mislim Al Barrak.

 

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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