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Kuwait's prime minister says he understands MPs' right to grill

KUWAIT -- His Highness the prime minister said the government adhered to the constitutional provision that says that a newly formed cabinet must present its manifesto immediately after formation. He indicated that the government task schedule had been examined during sessions of the national dialogue.
He denied MPs' claims about government's "political compromises at the expense of the homeland and citizens' interests," particularly with respect of increasing capital of the Credit Bank of Kuwait.
Responding to MPs' questions on appointing advisers with a ministerial degree, His Highness the prime minister said former secretaries of the National Assembly had been appointed with a ministerial degree.
Moreover, he had added, the head of the Audit Bureau is appointed in a decree and treated as a minister with respect of payments, financial privileges. Additionally, the head of the court of cassation is paid a minister's salary, along with special allowances.
Indicating that Kuwait has improved at the level of containing corruption, he noted that it ranked 73rd globally in 2021 after it was at the level of 85 in 2019.
He called on the parliament to rapidly ratify some laws in response to queries by Transparency International, re-affirming that the government has fulfilled its duties towards the citizens particularly during the period of the pandemic.
Earlier in the session, MP Al-Sayer ascended the podium signaling kickoff of the premier's interpellation, vowing to "face any bids to tamper with the constitution.
Corruption has sneaked into all state departments and the person responsible for this is the prime minister and members of the cabinet." He charged that His Highness the prime minister dishonored an accord he had made with 16 members of the parliament in February last year, designed to pave the way for "opening a new chapter in the cooperation between the government and the National Assembly." Later on, the MPs were shocked when the prime minister asked His Highness the Amir to suspend the parliament for a month due to lack of concord with the government.
MP Al-Sayer also charged that the government manifesto is rhetorical, based on changing expressions.
His fellow legislator, Khaled Al-Otaibi, lashed out at the government for "mismanagement, squandering public funds and corrupting the institutions," raising questions about the prime minister's role for preserving state resources and reclaiming public funds. He also criticized the government for not partaking in special parliamentary sessions to cross examine issues such as citizenship, detentions and reclaiming public funds.
For his part, MP Hasan Jawhar echoed his colleagues' charges and concerns, also expressing frustration at low ranking of Kuwait in international indexes. He also indicated that he was displeased with the manners the government addressed issues in the housing, educational, health, demographic and employment sectors. (end) amn.jy.aa.afh.nfa.rk