A number of MPs have called for the resignation of the Minister of Municipality Affairs and Minister of Public Works, Dr. Fadhil Al-Safar over a “meat scandal”.
The MPs' condemnation came as Kuwait Municipality officials revealed that 14 retailers have been referred to the Public Prosecutor's office on charges of smuggling products unfit for human consumption into the country, and 18 refrigerated warehouses have been closed down after it was confirmed that rotten meat had been found in them.
Despite this, however, leading opposition MP Musallam Al-Barrak slammed the government for "failing to enforce effective monitoring that could prevent rotten meat from reaching the market." Al-Barrak also held the government responsible for failing to introduce effective deterrent measures against retailers breaking the food safety regulations.
“The government is solely responsible for any case of food poisoning discovered in the country as a result of consuming the smuggled produce that is unfit for human consumption," Al-Barrak insisted, further suggesting that the suppliers in question would have been unable to conduct their illegal transactions if the government had introduced effective penalties for such practices.
MP’s called for the establishment of a parliamentary investigation committee to look into the matter.
November 15, 2010
Analysis and Forecast: Increasing Risk
This is yet another area of escalating tensions between the parliament and government. During the past several weeks, a number of ministers have already been targeted for questioning by parliament. Although Al Safar is not a high ranking minister and not a member of the ruling family, and so his questioning and resignation – if they at all happen are not likely to lead to dissolution of parliament, the event itself means that there is a growing number of ministers under threat of questioning by parliament.
This contributes to an already highly charged political climate in Kuwait that increases the likelihood of an open clash between the government and parliament, and hence dissolution of parliament by the Emir.