Shell dropped from grilling request Dow deal in focus

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 17: MP Saadoun Hamad Al-Otaibi said he and MP Nawaf Al-Fuzai will submit a five-point request Monday to grill Minister of Oil Hani Hussein.

He added the Shell contract issue has been dropped from the grilling request. He disclosed MP Abdullah Al-Tameemi will talk in support of the grilling during the debate.

He stressed the grilling is appropriate and the minister deserves to be grilled because it is unacceptable to remain silent on the violations which have been committed by the minister. It is time to hold him accountable for his actions and remove him from the post.”

The interpellation is based on Kuwait’s deal with the Dow Chemical company, recent promotions at the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its subsidiaries, the partnership between Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI) and Israeli fuel company Derek Group and foreign oil refineries.

Al-Fuzai has expressed his support for the grilling request. He also affirmed that he will file a grilling request against Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shamali on the issue of writing off interests on the consumer loans of citizens.

Al-Tameemi said he supports Al-Otaibi’s grilling request and was quoted as saying “I fully support the grilling and I will speak in support of the motion.”

Asked why he did not present the grilling request with Al-Otaibi as planned earlier, Al-Tameemi said “What actually happened was not withdrawal rather it was a distribution of roles since we had coordinated and agreed to postpone the grilling temporally.”

On the other hand some lawmakers have warned that the timing of submitting the grilling requests is not appropriate and may impede the ongoing progress of the current Parliament and the government.
MP Saud Al-Huraiji stressed nobody denies that the grilling request is a constitutional right of any lawmaker, but the timing is not appropriate to question the government especially since it is not even two months that the government has been formed. He asked, “How can a minister be grilled when the Parliament has not even completed discussions on the government program?”

He explained the Parliament has formed several investigation committees on many issues “which makes it compulsory upon the lawmakers to wait for these committees to complete their assignments before deciding on any grilling request.”

MP Nabil Al-Fadhel said filing grilling requests indicates a political naivety and inexperience “especially because each lawmaker looks at his grilling request from his personal interest.”

He called on his colleagues to postpone their grilling requests because the general atmosphere does not accept the timing of the grilling. He added, “Though there are observations on the performance of some ministers, they need to be given a chance for correction.”

On the speculations that there is a plan to topple the Prime Minister Sheikh Jabber Al-Mubarak in March, Al-Fadhel said there is no such plan and called it a mere imagination “because there is plurality of parliamentary blocs and differences of stances in the current legislative institution.”

Meanwhile, the Public Facilities Committee in the National Assembly Sunday discussed the government draft law on the establishment of Public Authority for Food and Nutrition in the presence of representatives of Ministry of Health, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research and private sector.

Speaking to reporters, the Committee Rapporteur Adnan Al-Mutawa explained the authority is important because there is no one reference or authority in the country to follow up and check all that is related to imported or locally produced foods.

He explained the authority will be directly in charge of all that is related to food and its development, in addition to its supervision and setting up international specifications and filing complaints against the violators.

He added, “We have been following through mass media the news reports about inedible foods in Kuwait and also in the world. Recent news reports in Europe said beef had been replaced by horse meat, so Kuwait was in dire need of this authority.

He added the authority will work independently and will have a special budget. He hoped the draft law will be passed before the end of the current legislative round due to its importance in correcting problems related to food and nutrition.

On another issue, the Legal and Legislative Committee condemned the “accusations that have been directed at it and the National Assembly that it is delaying the adoption of the money laundering and anti-terrorism bill.”

The committee Chairman MP Masouma Al-Mubarak said the government was late in issuing the bill to the Assembly and that the committee is keen to fully study its importance and assured it will be adopted in the near future.

Al-Mubarak added the Ministry of Justice has requested the postponement of discussions on a bill pertaining to the organization of the judiciary system until it prepares its own report in that regard.


By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Nihal Sharaf Arab Times Staff

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