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MPs back grillings; five acquitted in Eurofighters case

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: MPs Faisal Al-Kandari and Thamer Al-Suwait on Tuesday announced their backing of the grilling of two Cabinet ministers, saying the government has so far failed to address the concerns of Kuwaiti people. MP Mubarak Al-Hajraf last week filed to grill Finance Minister Abdulwahab Al-Rushaid on alleged charges of failing to properly manage huge assets of Kuwait abroad and for opposing a draft law to purchase loans of Kuwaiti citizens.

Also, MP Jenan Bushehri on Monday filed to grill Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Barrak Al-Sheetan over alleged violations including a Cabinet decision to raise the salaries of members and its decisions to appoint senior officials who do not fulfil conditions. Kandari said that he will back the two grillings because the government has failed to cooperate with the National Assembly and respond to the demands of the Kuwaiti people. The two interpellations are expected to be debated during the next Assembly session on Jan 24.

The rapporteur of the Assembly’s financial and economic affairs committee MP Saleh Ashour said on Tuesday the panel had a fruitful meeting with Head of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mohammad Al-Sager and other representatives. The talks centered on a draft law filed by MPs and approved by the committee calling to transfer the chamber, which enjoys extensive powers, into a trade union of merchants by withdrawing those powers.

The National Assembly office decided at a meeting on Monday to stop the renewal of contracts of dozens of expat legal advisors working at the Assembly. The move means that the Assembly will hire only nationals to work as legal advisors as part of its policy to replace dozens of foreign advisors with Kuwaitis.

Meanwhile, the special tribunal for trying ministers acquitted on Tuesday a former defense minister and four senior ministry officials of charges of committing financial violations and profiting from a multibillion-dollar deal to purchase Eurofighter warplanes. The five defendants faced charges of profiting from the $8.7 billion deal to buy 28 Eurofighter jets some six years ago. Some of the fighter jets have already been delivered to Kuwait.


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