Move to grill Kuwait’s prime minister aborted after quizzing bloc walks out

June 8, 2010
By

Al Khorafi chairing the session

A move to grill Kuwait’s prime minister over government inaction on pollution in a residential area was on Tuesday aborted after the lawmaker who filed the questioning request failed to show up.

Parliament Speaker Jassem Al Khorafi said that he dropped the item from the session agenda.

“The prime minister was present at the session and took his seat, but MP Khalid Al Tahoos was not there to ask his questions,” Al Khorafi said. “The item to grill the prime minister was thus scrapped off the agenda in view of article 141 of the Kuwaiti Parliament’s bylaws,” Al Khorafi said.

Under the article, “if the MP (who presented the grilling motion) is not present at the expected hour of the quizzing as scheduled in the orders of the day, or if he withdraws his motion, the quizzing does not take place unless adopted by another MP at the session or before it.”

Al Tahoos was scheduled to grill Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the prime minister, after he submitted last month a motion to quiz the head of the government over the “deteriorating environmental state of affairs and the failure to shut down the polluting industrial facilities that caused serious harm to residents in the Ali Sabah Al Salem Area, 55 kilometres south of Kuwait City.”

However, Al Tahoos and MPs who supported him were told on Tuesday that the government insisted on holding the quizzing session behind closed doors.

In a parliament vote, the request was supported by 23 MPs and 16 ministers and opposed by 19 MPs, while Al Tahoos and three more MPs from his bloc did not vote after they walked out of the building. They later said that they left to protest against the decision not to have open discussions at the parliament.

Three MPs were not present at the voting.

“If it were left to me, I would have all grilling and no-confidence voting sessions behind closed doors,” Al Khorafi told reporters after adjourning the public session until Wednesday. “The parliament is not a football field,” he said. 

Under the constitution, secret sessions are held upon a request by the government, the speaker or 10 lawmakers.

 

         

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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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