HH the Amir yesterday issued a decree accepting the resignation of deputy premier and minister of housing and development Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd Al-Sabah who quit over a dispute with the prime minister. A second decree was issued assigning Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah to carry out the duties of Sheikh Ahmad until a new minister is appointed.
Sheikh Ahmad submitted his resignation a few days ago after MPs said to be close to Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah voted against a request by Sheikh Ahmad to refer a grilling against him to the Assembly’s legal and legislative committee to investigate if the grilling was constitutional.
The committee ruled on Saturday that the grilling is in line with the constitution and that Sheikh Ahmad must accept to debate it in the National Assembly. The debate was scheduled to take place today. Sheikh Ahmad, 48, joined the Cabinet for the first time 10 years ago as information minister.
In 2003, he was moved to the energy post which then included the ministries of oil and electricity and water. He remained in the post until July 2006 when he was dropped following early general elections after he was engaged in a confrontation with opposition MPs over reforming the country’s electoral system.
Sheikh Ahmad however returned to the Cabinet three years later with an added authority. He was appointed as deputy premier, minister of housing and development, and was given charge of the KD 30.8 billion development plan which ran into obstacles because of continued political tension in the country.
Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi said he received the Amiri decree accepting the resignation of Sheikh Ahmad and that both his grilling and the report of the legal committee have been removed from the agenda of today’s agenda. Khorafi said the Assembly will go directly to the grilling of the prime minister on his alleged favoritism of good ties with Iran at the expense of relations with Gulf Arab states.
It is not immediately known whether the premier will accept to face the grilling or he will seek referring it to the constitutional court like what he did with a previous grilling last month. But it is certain that if the debate of the grilling goes ahead, it will be held in a secret session like the previous two grillings the prime minister faced.
This grilling was filed by opposition MPs Mohammad Hayef, Mubarak Al-Waalan and Waleed Al-Tabtabaei. It alleges that the prime minister has pursued a foreign policy that is biased towards Iran at the expense of the Arab states in the Gulf. The three MPs also accused the prime minister of failing to react promptly to requests to send ground troops to Bahrain to help crush Shiite-led protests there that turned violent.
The lawmakers however have withdrawn one issue from the grilling regarding the Kuwaiti medical team that went to Bahrain but was sent back by Manama. The three MPs said they removed this issue because it may raise sectarian tensions. The grilling also questions the prime minister for inviting Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi to visit Kuwait in May after a Kuwaiti court sentenced three men to death for allegedly being members of an Iranian spy ring. Kuwait Times