Kuwaiti MPs Delay Grilling of Housing Minister for Two Weeks
Kuwait's parliament on Monday delayed for two weeks the grilling of housing minister Adel al-Sebeih despite repeated appeals by the minister that he was ready for immediate questioning.
Sebeih, backed by other cabinet ministers and a group of Islamic MPs, told the house he was prepared to defend himself against accusations that he took decisions against the interests of Kuwaiti citizens.
But MPs voted 27 to 25 votes to postpone the grilling to November 19.
Three Kuwaiti MPs Saturday submitted a request to quiz Sebeih over a range of decisions to cut housing welfare.
The three MPs -- Musallam al-Barrak, Marzouq al-Hebini and Walid al-Jari -- charged that Sebeih has in the past few months issued decisions to raise monthly installments paid by citizens for government houses by up to 300 percent.
Married Kuwaiti couples in the oil-rich emirate, where citizens benefit from a cradle-to-grave welfare system, are entitled to a government house once against the payment of a small monthly installment over a period of 30 years.
Kuwaiti citizens can wait more than 10 years for a government house in a country where a 500 sq. meters (598 sq. yards) land plot can fetch more than 300,000 dollars.
Under Kuwaiti law, the grilling could lead to a vote of no-confidence which, if passed, would mean the automatic dismissal of the minister to deepen an already serious political crisis in the oil-rich emirate.
Analysts said they expected a cabinet reshuffle at the very least if MPs decided to go ahead with the vote of no-confidence.
Kuwait was plunged into a political crisis last year after the grilling of then-justice and religious affairs minister Ahmad al-Kulaib which eventually led to the dissolution of parliament and the holding of fresh polls in July – KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
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