KUWAIT CITY, Aug 26: Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh on Wednesday survived the no-confidence motion that 10 MPs submitted against him earlier. Out of 48 lawmakers present in the session, 35 voted against the motion while 13 voted in favor.
The session started with the speech of MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri who submitted the grilling motion against Al-Saleh. He pointed out that Al-Saleh represents what he calls a ‘deep State’ which, according to him, uses the entire fortune of Kuwait for the benefit of just a few individuals. He warned that if one day Kuwait faces bankruptcy, the ‘deep State’ will be the reason behind it. He went on to say that the Council of Ministers misused the speech of HH the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, adding the ‘deep State’ used the media to hurl accusations of conspiracy and betrayal at honest people.
“The ‘deep State’ is getting used to manipulation of the Constitution and ignoring the laws; indicating the victims are the citizens whose privacy is no longer secured,” the lawmaker asserted. He added that HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled keeps on stressing the importance of combating corruption, while Al- Saleh has not missed the opportunity to blackmail the MPs since the Al-Muwaizri announced his intention to grill the minister.
“I am afraid that one day, the deep State shall dominate all institutions in Kuwait including the National Assembly,” Al-Muwaizri said. He clarified that when he talked about violations in the Ministry of Interior, he did not mean that the officers and securitymen are corrupt. He affirmed 99 percent of the officers and securitymen are honest, patriotic and loyal to their country. He then addressed HH the Prime Minister, saying that he was optimistic about him but he is now sure the current prime minister also steps in the shoes of his predecessors and is now driving on the same track leading to the devastation of Kuwait.
In his response, Al-Saleh explained his decision to refer the head of the State Security Department for retirement was cancelled due to a legal error. He confirmed a decision in this regard will be taken soon based on the opinion of the Fatwa and Legislation Department. Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim then gave the floor for two MPs supporting Al-Saleh and two others who are against the minister. MP Safa’a Al-Hashem defended Al-Saleh but she focused on the issue of targeting his wife as it is a violation of fundamental morals. MP Ahmed Al-Fadl said all the accusations made by Al-Muwaizri can be attributed to the latter; such as obtaining public tenders for the companies owned by his family.
He supported his statement with documents showing that the company owned by Al-Saleh’s family obtained 13 tenders, while Al-Muwaizri’s obtained nine public tenders from Ministry of Interior and Amiri Diwan. He added Al-Muwaizri supplied the Ministry of Interior with equipment for dealing with demonstrations like water guns and smoke bombs, yet he urged the citizens to go to Erada Square to hold demonstrations; indicating there is no business without demonstrations.
On the other hand, MP Adel Al-Damkhi supported the no confidence motion. He agrees that the minister of interior belongs to the people of Kuwait, but this does not mean the minister cannot be questioned about gains amounting to KD 156 million obtained by the company of his family within eight years while he was in office as minister of finance and later as minister of interior.
His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince sent a cable of congratulations to Deputy Premier, Minister of Interior and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh for winning confidence of the National Assembly. His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince commended Al- Saleh’s answers to the grilling he faced on Aug 18 and consequent confidence of the Parliament during Wednesday’s session.
Meanwhile, Al-Saleh reiterated determination to continue “utmost efforts” for the service of the country, shortly after winning the Parliament’s confidence. “I cite the (recent) speech of His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince that no-one is above the law, and that freedoms of people and their secrets are protected, and Kuwait’s security is a red line,” Al- Saleh, also Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, told the Parliament after 35 MPs voted against a no-confidence motion presented against him. “We will continue with this policy and will work in full neutrality,” said Al-Saleh.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies