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Minister likely to resign
June 11, 2018, 12:59 pm

Minister of Social Affairs and Labour and State Minister for Economic Affairs Hind Al Sabeeh is likely to hand in her resignation to put an end to the saga of her grilling by lawmakers. Al Sabeeh who was grilled twice this year could face a new motion to question after Lawmaker Riyadh Al Adasani said he would file it by Wednesday if the minister did not dissolve Kuwait Liberal Society, established in December 2017, or at least took action against one of its members who reportedly abused religion. Al Adasani has repeatedly criticised the society, saying that it failed to respect religion, a charge that has been vehemently rejected by its members and supporters.

In his latest statement, the lawmaker said that he was shocked by the minister’s hesitation to take action against the society and that he was adamant about questioning her.

He added that once he filed the motion, he would not back down even if the minister took action after “the end of the grace period on Wednesday.”

However, according to a report on Monday in Kuwaiti daily Al Seyassah quoting “well-informed sources”, Al Sabeeh will hand in her resignation following Eid Al Fitr, the feast that marks the end of Ramadan, expected on Friday.

“The minister wants to avoid any embarrassment for the government, especially in light of the frequency of the motions to question her and the growing parliamentary dissatisfaction with her performances,” the sources said. “There is a high political cost to keep her in the government even though she passed all the grilling motions filed against her.”

According to the sources, Al Sabeeh made the decision to resign since the last grilling session in May when she had to face a no-confidence vote generated by MP Saleh Ashoor over allegations of abusing the law to dissolve non-governmental organisations and cooperative societies, failing to enforce necessary policies to restructure Kuwait’s demographics and failing to apply development plans to bolster the national economy. Al Sabeeh survived the vote after she was supported by 28 MPs and opposed by 12. Five of the lawmakers opted not to respond.

At least 25 out of the 50 lawmakers comprising the parliament were needed to oust her from the government. The renewal of the parliament’s confidence in her was the second one in three months.

In February, she easily survived through a no-confidence motion charging financial and administrative irregularities in her ministry after 29 lawmakers voted for her and 13 against her.

Al Sabeeh was appointed in the government in 2014. She is one of the eight women who have been given ministerial portfolios in Kuwait.

Massooma Al Mubarak made history in 2005 by becoming the first woman minister in the northern Arabian Gulf country. She took part in three government formations over two years and two months. She resigned after a motion was filed to grill her over a fire that had broken out at Al Jahra Hospital.

Nooriya Al Sabeeh was the second woman minister, followed by Moodhi Al Humood, Amani Boursali, Rola Dashti, Dhikra Al Rasheedi, Hind Al Sabeeh and Jinan Bushehri.

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