Kuwaiti Lawmakers Demand to Question Oil, Finance Ministers

Kuwaiti lawmakers applied to question Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shimali and Oil Minister Hani Hussein in parliament, the latter over alleged violations in the oil sector.

Parliamentarian Nawaf Al-Fuzaie filed a request to question Al-Shimali over lending practices and the relationship between the central bank and commercial banks, the state-run KUNA news agency reported. Lawmakers are pushing for a bailout of consumer loans, and parliament is scheduled to discuss the proposal tomorrow.

Al-Fuzaie also joined Saadoun Hammad in demanding to question the oil minister on five issues, including alleged breaches of a boycott on Israeli products and “irregularities in contracts” between Kuwait’s Petrochemical Industries Co. and Dow Chemical Co.

Repeated clashes between lawmakers and the government have led to a series of parliamentary dissolutions and Cabinet resignations in Kuwait, the fourth-biggest OPEC producer. That has contributed to slower growth and delays to key investment projects.

Al-Shimali was reappointed finance minister in December, almost seven months after he resigned following questioning by the now dissolved opposition-dominated parliament.

The current legislature was elected in December amid a boycott by the main opposition movement, which has held street protests and rallies since late 2010 demanding more powers for elected politicians. The new parliament, whose members have now filed requests to question four ministers, was expected to be more cooperative with the government than its predecessors.

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