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Kuwait oil minister’s resignation ‘accepted’

Move comes ahead of grilling by parliament

Gulf News

Manama: The resignation of Kuwait’s oil minister, under pressure to face a grilling motion by lawmakers, has reportedly been accepted, a local daily said.

Media this month said that Hani Hussain had resigned in the wake of a tense confrontation with the parliament and which started with a series of questions and has now reached quizzing levels. However, it was accepted only on Sunday, sources said, Al Watan website posted.

The sources were not identified and the resignation approval report has not been confirmed.

Accounts in Kuwait said that the government had informed the parliament that it was ready to discuss the quizzing of the oil minister amid growing tension between the two sides.

MPs Saadon Al Hammad, Nasser Al Merri and Yaqoob Al Sana had filed a motion to grill the minister over alleged financial and administrative irregularities, mainly linked to a highly controversial deal with Dow that ended with a $2.2 billion (Dh8.08 billion) penalty to be paid by Kuwait for scrapping the joint venture.

Other issues in the motion were the sale of alcoholic beverages in petrol stations owned by Kuwait in Europe, the non-respect of the Israel boycott law and promotions in the oil company.

A separate motion was filed to grill the interior minister, prompting the government to skip the parliamentary session in solidarity with its two ministers.

The motion to grill two ministers, which could be followed by further similar motions, has seemingly ended a honeymoon that started in December when the parliament was elected and the new government formed.

Both constitutional institutions emerged in the middle of a deep political crisis that rocked the country and sharply divided the political landscape.

The constitutional court is scheduled to deliver in mid-June its verdict on a decree to amend the 2006 electoral law that reduced the number of ballots a voter could cast from four to one amid vociferous protests by opposition figures.