Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah has served as Kuwait's premier since 2006
Kuwait's embattled prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, seen here in June 2011, has received a timely political boost on Thursday when the emirate's top court ruled that a quiz filed against him by opposition MPs breached the constitution. © Yasser al-Zayyat - AFP/File
Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah has served as Kuwait's premier since 2006
AFP
Last updated: October 20, 2011

Court ruling gives Kuwait PM timely boost

Kuwait's embattled prime minister received a timely political boost on Thursday when the emirate's top court ruled that a quiz filed against him by opposition MPs breached the constitution.

The motion to question Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, filed in May, accuses him of squandering public funds and of responsibility for financial and administrative irregularities in ministries.

But the constitutional court, whose rulings are final, said in its verdict that it was not in keeping with the constitution to quiz the prime minister for violations committed in ministries.

The written judgement explained that opposition MPs should instead question the individual ministers responsible for the alleged violations rather than the prime minister.

The ruling comes a day after the opposition staged the largest rally so far in its bid to dismiss Sheikh Nasser, a senior member of the ruling family and a nephew of the emir.

Opposition MPs accused the prime minister of various charges of corruption including issuing cheques to MPs to win their votes and making hundreds of illegal overseas money transfers for his own benefit.

The office of the prime minister on Thursday categorically denied the two accusations and challenged the opposition MPs to produce any proof to back up their allegations.

Sheikh Nasser, 71, has been a target of opposition attacks since he was appointed to the post in February 2006, forcing him to resign six times.

The quiz had charged that the state lost over $500 million in an investment awarded by the government to a private Kuwaiti investor and held the premier responsible for the loss because he ignored repeated warnings on the issue.

He was also accused of failing to safeguard public funds at Kuwait's leading telecommunications firm Zain, in which the state holds a stake of 24.6 percent, and at the state-run pension agency.

Two other grillings await debate when parliament reopens on October 25.

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