MPs step up pressure on info minister

KUWAIT: MPs yesterday stepped up pressure against Information Minister Mohammad Al-Jabri ahead of his grilling that may be debated tomorrow. At the same time, the minister demanded explanation of certain points included in the grilling, which require additional details. The grilling is on top of the agenda tomorrow, but the minister has the right to demand the postponement of the grilling for two weeks. On the Assembly’s agenda is another grilling against Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh, filed by MPs Mohammad Hayef and Mohammad Al-Mutair over charges of squandering public funds and unfair appointments.

Jabri’s grilling was submitted by MPs Riyadh Al-Adasani, Adel Al-Damkhi and Mohammad Al-Dallal, who accused the minister of promoting irregularities at the information ministry, the agricultural authority and the sports authority, all of which fall under the minister’s purview. Dallal said yesterday that the minister did not take any actions over violations at the agricultural authority. He said violations in the distribution of agricultural land plots have increased under the minister, and that’s why the grilling is “not random and we are aware of what the minister has been doing”.

MP Abdulwahab Al-Babtain described the agricultural violations as the straw that broke the camel’s back, adding that he has documents that the public funds protection committee does not have. He said he has supplied all the information he has to MP Adasani, claiming the agricultural plots were used to appease someone.

MP Al-Humaidi Al-Subaei decided in the meantime to postpone filing a second grilling against the Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan. The lawmaker said last week he will file a second grilling against the minister because he provided false information during the first grilling last month. He said the postponement came to allow a parliamentary panel to investigate the accusations made during the first grilling.

Meanwhile, MP Babtain said that he totally backs a final solution to the decades-old problem of stateless people (bedoons), but will not approve a draft law that grants them wider rights because the bill does solve the problem. A number of lawmakers are pressing to get the law approved in order to grant bedoons basic human rights while waiting for a final solution.

By B Izzak

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