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Sane wants probe into PM grants – Duwaisan warns against sectarianism in grilling

KUWAIT: MP Yacoub Al-Sane yesterday submitted a proposal to form an investigation committee to probe revelations by MP Abdullah Al-Tameemi who said he had mediated to secure cash grants for husseiniyas and needy people from the office of the prime minister.

Sane said the investigation should find out if the revelations are true and if cash was paid to the said lawmaker and others. He said the probe should investigate all the issues surrounding the case, the objectives behind making the issue public and if there are plots from outside the National Assembly to destabilize the legislature. The call comes a day after three MPs said they plan to file a request to grill Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al- Mubarak Al-Sabah following the announcement by Tameemi that he arranged the cash payments from the premier’s office. Tameemi explained in a statement on Sunday that he had never received the money personally but only mediated for the beneficiaries who received the assistance themselves.

The grants included cash payments to husseiniyas, Shiite places of worship. The revelation caused outrage among several MPs, who demanded an investigation. MPs Riyadh Al-Adasani, Abdulkarim Al-Kandari and Hussein Quwaiaan have said they will file a request next week to grill the prime minister over the issue and the deteriorating situation in the country. Shiite MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan warned yesterday of inciting sectarianism while dealing with the grilling because some of the alleged payments were given to husseiniyas.

Duwaisan said that he has information that certain quarters from outside the Assembly are trying to turn the case into a sectarian issue. He also warned the government against completely trusting the positions of some MPs, saying they may change. MPs Kandari and Adasani however insisted that the grilling is not sectarian but aims to uncover the facts.

Kandari said that some people want to confuse things in what he called the “scandal of the cash grants”, adding that there is no ambiguity over what happened because the lawmaker has admitted receiving the funds. Kandari said it was strange that the office of the prime minister has remained silent on such a sensitive issue and claimed that there were attempts to prevent publicity of the issue. Asked if they intend to file a motion of non-cooperation against the prime minister, Kandari said if the premier fails in his replies to convince the Assembly, the motion will be filed.

Such a motion requires 10 MPs to sign it and if the Assembly approves it, the issue goes to HH the Amir who will either change the prime minister or dissolve the Assembly and call fresh polls. Adasani meanwhile said that the grilling will focus on how the lawmaker got the money and how he spent it, adding that it is illogical for an MP to say he got money from the prime minister in order to give as charity.

By B Izzak

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