Kuwait lawmakers clash over motion to grill PM

May 24, 2011

Kuwait’s parliament seemed to be wading deeper into controversy after lawmakers clashed over the merit of filing a motion to grill the Prime Minister.

MPs Waleed Tabtabai, Mohammad Hayef and Mubarak Al Waalan on Sunday filed to grill Prime Minister Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad over allegations that his governments harmed national security by adopting a foreign policy that has been favourable to Iran over ties with Gulf Arab states.

The grilling also accused the prime minister of “attempting to play down the significance of busting an Iranian spy cell and allowing a visit by the Iranian foreign minister despite provocative statements by Iranian officials against Kuwait and Gulf states”.

“The arrival of the new Iranian ambassador in Kuwait late on Sunday is an act of provocation that will be added as a new element in the grilling,” Al Tabtabai said.

MP Mussallam Al Barrak, the spokesman for the Popular Action Bloc, an opposition formation, said that they would support the quizzing.

“The Popular Bloc rejects any attempt by the government to refer the grilling either to the National Assembly’s legal and legislative committee or to the constitutional court. The bloc also rejects attempts that the government may undertake to either delay the debate of the grilling or hold the debate behind closed doors. We urge the prime minister to refute publicly the charges,” he said, quoted by Kuwaiti dailyKuwait Times.

Not in support

Al Barrak denied reports that the head of the bloc, MP Ahmad Al Sa’adoun, was not supporting the grilling on the grounds that he opposed sending Kuwaiti troops to Bahrain.

Under the charges leveled in the grilling, Shaikh Nasser did not send promptly Kuwaiti troops to Bahrain within the units of the Peninsula Shield, the military arm of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). But, Kuwait eventually sent navy units to help guard Bahrain’s coastguards.


However, with the grilling debate in parliament set for May 31, several MPs said that it should not go ahead and accused the trio who filed it of opportunism.

MP Hussain Al Qallaf on Monday said that those who filed the quizzing motion were “not aware of the articles of the constitution” and “had no knowledge of politics and diplomacy.”


He said the grilling was a “constitutional, political and moral scandal”, adding that it was illogical for a Kuwaiti citizen, especially for a senior member of the ruling family and the prime minister, to favour his own interest over that of the nation.

MP Khaled Al Adwah also criticised the grilling, saying that Kuwait’s relations with its Gulf partners had not deteriorated because of ties with Iran.

Adwah said that the MPs who filed the grilling have committed a mistake and must now provide evidence during the debate to prove that Kuwait’s relations with Gulf countries had suffered.

The MPs claimed that Kuwait’s ties with fellow GCC states had deteriorated because they differed with the prime minister, he said.




About the author

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

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