KUWAIT: Lawmakers are seen during a session of National Assembly late Tuesday. - Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: The National Assembly agreed to start debating the budgets for 2020/2021 including the state budget, which is projecting a massive KD 14 billion deficit, one of the biggest in several years. The decision came following a marathon session on Tuesday during which lawmakers filed no-confidence motions against Education Minister Saud Al-Harbi and Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh following two grillings.

But several MPs were quick to renew their confidence in the two ministers, especially the interior minister, who will be facing a second confidence vote in two weeks. The Assembly however agreed to delay the debate of two grillings against HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah filed separately by MPs Abdulkarim Al-Kandari and Al-Humaidi Al-Subaei. Voting on the two no-confidence motions is scheduled to take place on Sept 10, Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem said after the grillings.

During the interior minister's grilling, MP Mohammad Hayef accused the minister of not acting over the alleged leaks of a meeting at the state security agency that included the main suspect in the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund scandal. He also accused the minister of not taking any legal action against officers and people involved in misleading thousands of Bedouns or stateless people to buy passports of some countries which turned out to be fake.

Saleh categorically denied the allegations and insisted that he is being questioned because he took action and for seeking reforms. He said all the allegations in the grilling relate to events that had taken place before he was appointed interior minister and wondered why he was being grilled for the second time in two weeks. The minister said the cases that have been highlighted in the grilling were referred to the public prosecution and asked why he is being questioned for that.