MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri

KUWAIT: Leading opposition MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri yesterday threatened that he will file to grill the prime minister and three Cabinet ministers after 30 days if a number of demands were not met, including scrapping hikes in the prices of petrol and electricity. Muwaizri's threat comes just a few days after a self-declared moratorium by the opposition not to grill the prime minister as part of a deal stipulating that the government will reinstate citizenship of opposition figures it revoked in the summer of 2014. Several lawmakers however openly said they were not committed to that agreement. Muwaizri is one of them.

Muwaizri said that the grillings against Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah and at least three ministers are ready and he plans to file them after 30 days. The demands the lawmaker made include respecting the constitution, suspending the so-called economic reform charter, immediately halting the petrol and electricity price hikes and suspending the privatization program. Other demands include resolving the decades-long problem of stateless people locally known as bedoons, stopping security restrictions on Kuwaiti jobseekers and halting government "atrocities" against the disabled and receivers of social aid.

The lawmaker said that the constitution does not give any immunity to anyone against grillings and the only immunity for the government is to serve the people correctly. He called on ministers and officials to respect the responsibilities entrusted to them. Muwaizri said that it is no longer acceptable to see squandering of public funds and corruption continue unchecked, and that Kuwaitis continue to be humiliated to get their deserved rights. He also charged the government of demanding very difficult conditions for Kuwaitis to get jobs.

The lawmaker recalled the issues of Dow Chemical, Shell and agricultural and industrial plots that involved corruption cases and infringement on public funds, adding that the continuity of these issues means that the government does not respect the people and their representatives in the Assembly. Muwaizri did not name the ministers who will be targeted, but said their number could even increase.

MP Faisal Al-Kandari also said that he is not committed to the temporary halt in grilling the prime minister because the measure is not in line with the constitution. Kandari blamed MPs for forgetting key popular issues like scrapping hikes in petrol and electricity prices and focusing instead on the issue of revoked citizenships. The National Assembly holds weekly sessions tomorrow and on Wednesday and is scheduled to debate key issues including a special debate on housing, the issue of Khor Abdullah and debating the proposed increases of charges on public services and commodities.

By B Izzak