Nasser Al Sabah
Nasser Al Sabah Image Credit: Supplied

Cairo: Tensions flared up in public between two key members of Kuwait’s outgoing government amid accusations over purported irregularities in the country’s Army Fund.

The spat erupted in public on Saturday after Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Shaikh Nasser Al Sabah said that the main reason for the government’s resignation two days earlier was its failure to answer repeated queries over financial irregularities at the fund that offers social and financial support to the military personnel.

The government submitted its resignation to Kuwait’s Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad on Thursday, tersely saying the aim was to allow “rearranging cabinet work”.

“This [reason] was not accurate,” Shaikh Nasser said in a statement on the army’s Twitter account.

He added that repeated queries had been filed to Prime Minister Jaber Mubarak for explanations to the suspected irregularities estimated at around 240 million Kuwaiti dinars (Dh2.9billion) before Shaikh Nasser became defence minister in December 2017.

Shaikh Nasser hinted that the prime minister had dilly-dallied in tackling the alleged irregularities.

Shaikh Nasser, the Emir’s eldest son, has already requested the country’s public prosecutor to investigate those regularities and said his decision was aimed at protecting public money and allowing justice to prevail.

His remarks have drawn sharp criticism from Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Shaikh Khaled Al Jarrah Al Sabah, who previously served as defence minister.

“I’m ready to appear before the fair Kuwait judiciary to prove my innocence in front of the political leadership and the great Kuwaiti people,” Shaikh Al Jarrah said in a statement. “Rulings of the exalted judiciary are the proof of the truth, not fabricated leaks,” he added, referring to the defence minister’s disclosures.

Shaikh Al Jarrah accused the defence minister of deliberately keeping the alleged irregularities under wraps for the past seven months before making it public on Saturday.

“This proves political aims and ambitions that he is pursuing and which are not unknown to the people of Kuwait,” Shaikh Al Jarrah said, according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al Qabas.

Both ministers are members of Kuwait’s ruling family.

The spat comes amid accusations over alleged corruption including wasting of public money in Kuwait.

Earlier this month, hundreds of Kuwaitis protested outside the parliament against the outgoing government and purported state corruption.

On Thursday, the Kuwaiti government resigned after parliamentary no-confidence motions were filed against some ministers including Shaikh Al Jarrah.