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No confidence motion possible on donation grill GCC Security Pact agendized for April 29

KUWAIT CITY, April 14: A no-confidence motion will be submitted against HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak if he fails to disprove the allegation that he gave money to MP Abdullah Al-Tamimi, says MP Abdulkareem Al-Kandari. Al-Kandari made the statement in a press conference that he and MP Riyadh Al- Adsani held Monday after being criticized by their colleagues when they announced their intention to grill the premier on the allegation.

They vehemently denied speculation that the interpellation is a sectarian maneuver. According to Al-Kandari, there have been attempts to ‘bury’ the scandal, but the interpellation will take its course. He said Al- Tamimi has denied receiving money from the premier; claiming his disclosure in a previous television interview was a mistake as he worded his statement incorrectly.

He added Al-Tamimi’s statement is pointless, considering the prime minister himself is silent over the matter and other MPs have defended him. He cited the leakage of similar information during the time of the 2009 Assembly, and back then, there were attempts to cover up any information published in local newspapers to protect the premier’s seat. Al-Kandari stated that describing the interpellation as sectarian is another attempt very familiar to the people; indicating the sectarianism issue was not brought up until the interpellation was disclosed and opinions were expressed. “MP Khaleel Abdullah’s previous comment that “the interpellation is a step in the right direction” proves the interpellation is not aimed at instigating sectarian conflicts,” he added.

He believes the money given to Al- Tamimi is a bribe. He argued even if the intention is to use the money to build a school or a mosque, the fact that he was bribed remains. “We will not sit idle when this kind of activity is becoming prevalent, while the country continues to deteriorate. Attempts to cover up the scandal will go on, but it will not stop us from pushing ahead with the interpellation,” he added. He affirmed the interpellation will include the general policy of the government, especially since Kuwait lags behind in the development race among the Gulf countries. He lamented Kuwait was once in front of the line in terms of development, pulling other Gulf countries forward. He said they will also focus on the premier’s alleged donation to support social services for the Shiites.

Meanwhile, Al-Adsani asked Al- Tamimi to present proof that he did not personally receive money from the prime minister, considering he also mentioned other MPs had received money for the same reason. He thinks the government is using charity and donation as an excuse to give money to some MPs. He said this incident is no longer new to him, because the 2009 Assembly also had similar suspicious activities.

Investigate
MP Yaqoub Al-Sane had earlier unveiled his plan to request for the formation of a committee to investigate the issue in order to uncover the truth without resorting to interpellation. However, since Al-Adsani and Al-Kandari seem adamant in submitting the grilling request, whether an investigative committee is formed or not, he conceded an interpellation is better than a committee as it takes weeks or months to get to the bottom of an issue. MP Safa Al-Hashem supports the interpellation because corruption has reached a point where MPs are disclosing they have received money from the premier. She stressed this is not just an unacceptable behavior, but also a violation of Article 50 of the Constitution which stipulates absolute separation of powers. Addressing the premier, Al-Hashem stated, “There will be no raising of the ‘agal’ (head gear) this time”, referring to his last interpellation when he raised his ‘agal’ as a gesture of accomplishment. On the other hand, MP Faisal Al- Duwaisan claimed there are parties outside the Parliament keen on creating sectarian tension and disorder. He said the MPs have every right to form a committee and submit an interpellation, but the final decision will still be based on the collective input of the Assembly.


By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff

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