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10 MPs file no-confidence motion against interior minister after grilling

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Ten lawmakers Tuesday filed a no-confidence motion against Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh following a grilling by MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri, who accused him of profiteering from his job as a member of the Cabinet.
Saleh categorically denied the accusations and insisted that he takes a lot of precaution to avoid conflicts of interest.
Following a six-hour debate, MPs Muwaizri, Mohammad Hayef, Thamer Al-Suwait, Abdulkarim Al-Kandari, Mohammad Al-Mutair, Nayef Al-Merdas, Hamdan Al-Azemi, Khaled Al-Oteibi, Adel Al-Damkhi and Abdullah Fahhad submitted the motion.
Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem said the voting on the motion will take place on Aug 26.
Muwaizri charged that the minister owns a commercial company and stocks, adding that during 27 years, the company secured government contracts worth KD 10 million, while in the past 8 years after becoming a minister, the company won contracts worth KD 70 million.
The minister denied any wrongdoing, insisting that he has acknowledged that he has a company but stressed it has never won any favors because of his post.
The minister said after becoming acting oil minister a few years ago, he cancelled procedures to award a contract with the oil sector to his father’s company to avoid conflict of interest.
Saleh also insisted that the lawmaker provided no tangible evidence that he profited from his post.
Muwaizri also charged Saleh of wide-scale violations in electoral rolls, showing that many votes are registered to non-existent addresses. He also said that thousands of dead people are still registered in the rolls.
The minister said he has started a process to delist names of dead people registered in the electoral rolls, saying that before he took over the ministry eight months ago, there were some 37,000 dead people on the rolls.
The minister said so far, around 7,000 of those names have been deleted.
Muwaizri also claimed violations and abuses in the police force, but the minister has failed to take appropriate actions.
But Saleh said he believes there are only a few violators, while the overwhelming majority of the police force are doing an excellent job.
Saleh is the first non-ruling family member to ever become an interior minister in Kuwait.

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