Cabinet said to accept resignation

KUWAIT CITY, June 12: The resignation of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development and Housing Affairs, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, was accepted by the Cabinet, according to parliamentary sources on Sunday.
Sources also informed the Arab Times that the resignation’s acceptance will not be formally announced until Monday.
The Cabinet conducted its weekly meeting on Sunday and approved a bill that grants citizens with paychecks of over KD 1000 an extra KD 50. However, there was no mention of Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad’s resignation by State Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Roudhan Al-Roudhan, when he relayed the meeting’s decisions to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).
Furthermore, Speaker of Parliament Jassem Al-Khorafi said that he was not yet informed of a decision on the resignation. Therefore, he added, the Deputy PM’s interpellation was still on the agenda of Tuesday’s parliamentary session for debate.
The Deputy PM is scheduled to be questioned on Tuesday by MPs Adel Al-Sarawi and Marzooq Al-Ghanim on the misappropriation of public funds, alleged violation of the Constitution and the law, irregularities in the bidding for some projects at the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) as well as on the illegal signing of a contract with the Asian Olympic Council.
A majority of the Legal and Legislative Committee members had voted on Saturday that all the questioning’s proponents were constitutional after a two-week study with its legal consultants as well as after listening to the defense of the grilling’s instigators and Sheikh Ahmed’s legal team.
Sheikh Al-Ahmed lost the confidence of pro-government MPs during his scheduled grilling session on May 31 when he referred his interpellation to the legal committee on the basis that many of the proponents are unconstitutional. Ten pro-government MP who included members of the committee had voted against his request.
News reports also alleged that there was a dispute between the former Deputy PM and His Highness the Prime Minister, Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah.
The interpellation is the second against Sheikh Ahmed this year. An earlier grilling by the NAB against him had resulted in the resignation of the Cabinet and the formation of a new government.
Al-Khorafi said that if the Cabinet accepts the resignation of Sheikh Ahmed then the grilling will automatically be cancelled. He added that a report by the Legal and Legislative Committee on the constitutionality of the grilling motion will also be removed and won’t be discussed. Therefore, Al-Khorafi said, the session will move on to discuss the interpellation of the PM.
Al-Khorafi added that if the Deputy PM does not attend Tuesday’s parliamentary session then he will still request MPs Adel Al-Sarawwy and Marzooq Al-Ghanim to take the podium and speak on their motion. But if the questioners fail to attend the session themselves and other MPs do not undertake the grilling, then the interpellation will be dropped, he explained.
The Legal and Legislative Committee discussed on Sunday its draft report on a meeting held on Saturday where the members voted on the constitutionality of Sheikh Ahmed’s grilling, revealed Reportuer MP Masouma Al-Mubarak. She said that the report will be submitted to the National Assembly on Monday.
Five out of seven members had voted that the motion, which was submitted by National Action Bloc (NAB) members MPs Al-Sarawi and Al-Ghanim, fully complies with the Constitution. MPs Al-Mubarak and Faisal Al-Duwaisan, meanwhile, were of the opinion that two proponents of the motion were unconstitutional. One of the proponents pertains to the sports issue, which the MPs believed is the responsibility of the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor. The two lawmakers had also concluded that the Olympic Council was under the authority of the Minister of Finance as he is responsible for the state’s property.

By: Nihal Sharaf

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