Kuwait MPs ask to quiz PM over alleged corruption

The three MPs accused the premier, a senior member of the oil-rich Gulf state’s ruling family, of corruption

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Three opposition MPs on Thursday sought to question Kuwait’s prime minister, accusing him of giving cash handouts to lawmakers and mismanagement in sovereign wealth fund investments.

The request, filed by Riyadh al-Adasani, Abdulkarim al-Kundari and Hussein al-Mutairi, could lead to a no-confidence vote that may force Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak al-Sabah's dismissal.

The three accused the premier, a senior member of the oil-rich Gulf state’s ruling family, of corruption for giving cash handouts to a number of lawmakers.

They also blamed him for deteriorating public services in the OPEC member, which pumps 3.0 million barrels of oil per day and has foreign assets worth more than $400 billion.

The lawmakers said Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund had posted losses in recent years in a number of major foreign investments, and despite that billions of dollars more were pumped into them.

They also held the prime minister responsible for closing down two newspapers for two weeks, claiming it was a move aimed at stifling freedoms.

It would be the third grilling against the premier since the current parliament term started late October. The assembly scraped the first, while the second was debated without further action.

As a result of grilling of the premier and ministers, Sheikh Jaber reshuffled his cabinet in January.

Sheikh Jaber was appointed to the post in December 2011, and since then has had to form five governments as a result of disputes.

The current parliament was elected in July in Kuwait's second poll in eight months after the top court dissolved the previous parliament due to procedural flaws.

It was the second house to be scrapped for the same reason in a year.

As a result of bitter disputes dating back to 2006, the emir dissolved parliament four times and the court nullified it twice, while a dozen cabinets have been formed.