Kuwait education MP survives confidence vote

Segregation law, educational deterioration at issue


Kuwait's only woman cabinet minister survived a no-confidence vote in parliament on Tuesday tabled by MPs who accused her of legal and administrative irregularities.

Twenty-seven MPs voted in favor of Education Minister Nuriya al-Sabeeh and 19 against her, while two abstained.

The motion required 25 votes to pass in the 50-member house. Only 48 MPs were eligible to vote as two elected MPs are cabinet ministers who, under Kuwaiti law, are not allowed to take part in no-confidence votes.

During a nine-hour grilling in parliament two weeks ago, Sabeeh was accused of failing to implement a sex segregation law at universities and held responsible for a "serious deterioration" in the educational standards.

She categorically denied the allegations.

Sabeeh was appointed to the cabinet last March becoming only the second woman minister in the oil-rich Gulf emirate.

Maasouma al-Mubarak, who made history by becoming the first female minister in Kuwait after women were granted full political rights in 2005, resigned last year after Islamist MPs summoned her to appear before parliament.