Manama: Kuwait’s parliament failed to convene on Wednesday one day after 10 lawmakers submitted a no-confidence motion against Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Minister of State for Economic Affairs Hind Al Sabeeh at the end of a grilling session.
Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al Ganim adjourned the session on Wednesday as the required quorum was not met.
On Tuesday, MPs Shuaib Al Muwaizri, Saleh Ashour, Adel Al Damkhi, Abdul Kareem Al Kanderi, Mohammad Hayef, Humaidi Al Subaiee, Khalid Al Otaibi, Mubarak Al Hajraf, Nayef Al Ajmi and Abdullah Al Enezi Al Ganim signed the no-confidence motion following the lengthy grilling on alleged administrative and financial irregularities by the minister.
The three lawmakers claimed the minister had failed to reduce the number of expatriates in the country, which had worsened the demographic imbalance in the country.
Kuwaitis make up about one third of the total population of the country.
Al Sabeeh allegedly contributed to the demographic issue by enabling small companies to obtain large numbers of visas that they later sold to foreigners as part of a lucrative scheme.
They also claimed that the minister was lenient when it came to hiring foreigners ahead of Kuwaitis.
However, Al Sabeeh denied the charges and insisted she had always favoured Kuwaitis over foreigners. She said that 96 per cent of her ministry staff were Kuwaiti nationals.
She claimed to have vigorously taken on people who engaged in the illicit trade in visas, which increased the number of foreigners without proper jobs in the country.
Al Sabeeh challenged anyone to produce any evidence that she abused her position for financial gains “be it a single dinar”.
“If God gives me time, I will continue to fight all those who traded in residency visas until there is not a single one of them,” she said.
She added that she never compromised with contracts and that she applied the rules fully.
“In fact, the first case where I refused any form of complacency was with my own cousin. I never look at names and I will apply the same yardstick with my own son Ahmad,” she said.
The Speaker said the parliament will vote on it on January 31 in accordance with Article 102 of the Constitution and Article 144 of the Statute that stipulates a period of seven days after the submission.
At least 25 lawmakers must support the motion during the vote to automatically dismiss the minister.