Lawmakers file no-confidence motion against Kuwait minister

May 26, 2012

Kuwaiti lawmakers have filed a no-confidence motion against the finance minister in a move that could trigger changes in the country.

The motion was filed by 10 MPs as required by the law and was endorsed by 33 lawmakers following the grilling of Finance Minister Mustafa Al Shamali over alleged irregularities in the ministry.

Under the parliament’s by-laws, the vote on the no-confidence motion takes place eight days after the filing of the mission. The support of 25 lawmakers is required to remove a minister from office.

The MPs claimed that the finance ministry disregarded the law on several occasions and that the minister squandered billions of dollars of public funds by accommodating influential business figures.

The minister however, claimed that the allegations are motivated by personal and political grudges.

Al Shamali categorically denied the allegations, insisting that he deeply cared about Kuwait and Kuwaitis and that all his activities and actions have been legal.

The grilling of Al Shamali was rendered possible after the parliament overcame at the last minute a thorny issue about the lawmakers’ right to question him.

Two motions to subject the minister to questioning were filed on the same day, May 7, one by MP Abaid Al Wasmi over alleged flaws in the Central Bank of Kuwait loan policies and the use of national wealth to increase support for petrol derivatives, and the other by MPs Musallam Al Barrak, Abdul Rahman Al Anjari and Khalid Tahous over a series of alleged violations.

The MPs later said that they wanted to merge the two motions, a move that the government objected to on the grounds that it violated the parliament’s by-laws that prohibit the consolidation of questioning motions that have similar topics.

On Tuesday, the parliament, assured of an overwhelming support from its Islamist-tribal majority, sought to overcome the standoff by allowing the MPs to vote on the issue.

However, the government representatives walked out prompting the adjournment of the session.

On Wednesday, the session was again adjourned after the government representatives opted not to show up.

Al Wasmi decided to withdraw his motion, paving the way for Al Shamali’s motion to go through.



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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