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MPs present motion to grill Obaidi – Speaker confirms receiving interpellation request

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 14: MPs Hamdan Al- Azmi and Rakan Al-Nisf presented Monday an interpellation motion against Minister of Health Dr Ali Al-Obaidi on the alleged administrative and financial irregularities in his ministry. Al-Azmi explained they took preliminary steps prior to the submission of the motion, such as forwarding questions to the minister starting from August. “We submitted 168 questions to the minister but he either dodged the queries or provided misleading responses. The rampant corruption in the ministry should not be tolerated because it never happened during the term of previous ministers.

The government has been silent over the issue as if it is satisfied with the violations of the minister,” he asserted. Talking about the grilling points, Al-Azmi disclosed the minister has been suspected of exploiting the ministerial office in awarding contracts to companies that he owns. He urged the minister to stand on the grilling podium, claiming the latter personally benefited from the ministerial post.

On the other hand, Al-Nisf said he has never hesitated in defending pro-reform ministers like former Minister of Electricity and Water Abdul-Aziz Al-Ibrahim and Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Al-Sabeeh in the same manner that he does not hesitate in grilling any minister who believes he is above the law. In a related development, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim confirmed receiving the interpellation request which will most likely be discussed in the parliamentary session slated for Dec 22 or Dec 23 — unless the concerned minister requests for postponement.

On the attendance of MPs to the meetings of parliamentary committees, Al-Ghanim disclosed he issued a decision on the need to mention the names of absentees at the beginning of each session. On the Anti-Corruption Law, Al-Ghanim confirmed the government has finalized its comments on the proposed amendments, which will most probably be ratified by the Parliament on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Health, Social Affairs and Labor Committee discussed Monday a number of bills. Committee Rapporteur MP Sadoun Hammad Al-Otaibi revealed the panel also laid down its priorities including health insurance for citizens, medical cities, rights of patients, medical responsibility, public assistance, rights of the elderly, regulating the work of pharmacists and medicine consumption. Furthermore, the Public Utilities Committee talked about the proposal to amend Municipal Law No. 5/2005; while Committee Rapporteur Saudi Al-Hareeji said they rejected a bill on the establishment of a public authority for managing disasters and crises.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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