KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – Islamist opposition MP Faisal al-Muslim on Sunday filed to quiz Kuwait’s prime minister in parliament over alleged misuse of public funds and issuing a 700,000-dollar cheque to another MP.
Muslim alleges that the office of Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah misappropriated tens of millions of dollars of public funds in the run-up to general elections in May 2008.
He filed a similar request to question the premier in March this year, but that never materialised because parliament was dissolved in the same month and fresh elections were held in May.
Muslim also said that he has sent several questions to the prime minister about the alleged misuse of funds and the cheque, but that he declined to respond, saying the issues were being investigated by the public prosecution.
Two weeks ago, Muslim showed in parliament a copy of a 200,000-dinar (700,000-dollar) cheque issued by the prime minister to a former MP in June 2008 when the beneficiary was a member of parliament.
The lawmaker said that despite exposing the issue in March, the prime minister and his aides have categorically denied any wrongdoing.
The request to quiz the premier could set the stage for a fresh political crisis in the oil-rich Gulf state which has been rocked by political chaos since early 2006 when Sheikh Nasser, a nephew of the ruler, was appointed premier.
The debate to quiz the premier is expected to take place on December 8, according to parliament secretary Allam al-Kundari.
Traders said meanwhile that Kuwaiti shares dived to a seven-month low at close of trading on Sunday on the back of continued political tension and a slump in profits of most of the listed firms.
The Kuwait Stock Exchange index dropped two percent to close at 6,918.40 points, crashing below the 7,000-point psychological mark for the first time since the beginning of April.
In June last year, parliament voted to ask the independent Audit Bureau to investigate allegations of “suspicious” spending of 23 million dinars (86 million dollars) by the premier’s office in 2007 and in 2008.
In February, the cabinet decided to refer the Audit Bureau report to the public prosecution, and is still awaiting the response.