In one of the most lackluster grillings in the history of the National Assembly, the debate of the quiz of State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Adel Al-Khorafi ended without filing a no-confidence motion or even making recommendations. It took only a few hours to finish the questioning, perhaps the fastest in the Assembly, and it centered around two accusations made without any proof or evidence. In a cable he sent to the minister, HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah applauded Khorafi for his professional responses in the grilling. The Amir added the parliamentary procedure epitomized true democracy, wishing the nation success and prosperity.
The grillers – opposition MPs Riyadh Al-Adasani and Adel Al-Damkhi – charged that Khorafi became minister through a political deal with Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem. They showed tweets on social media saying that Khorafi withdrew from the National Assembly elections last November in favor of Ghanem, as both were supposed to run from the same second constituency. Khorafi was a member of the previous Assembly which was dissolved in October, but he surprisingly opted out of the race without providing any reason. At that time, activists said a deal was made with Ghanem under which Khorafi would become a minister in the new Cabinet.
The two MPs also accused him of failing to carry out his constitutional duties specified in his appointment and also failing to do his job as a coordinator between the Assembly and the government. They charged that he sent a reply to a question signed by the former defense minister instead of the present minister, which is a constitutional violation. The two lawmakers also called on the minister to step down and urged the prime minister to dismiss him.
Khorafi however strongly denied the lawmakers’ accusations, saying that he was offered the Cabinet job and the premier told him he will have sufficient authorities to carry out his duties. He recounted the achievements he has made in completing certain issues to be debated by the Assembly and speeding up the process of minsters answering questions by MPs.
Speaking in the defense of the minister, MP Faisal Al-Kandari said the allegations were not based on solid evidence but only tweets, which are unsubstantiated and cannot be accepted. He said the grilling was entirely for personal reasons and for settling political scores, which is a waste of the Assembly’s time.
MP Abdulkarim Al-Kandari, speaking in support of the grilling, said the quiz should have been submitted immediately after the appointment of Khorafi in the Cabinet, and that it was delayed. He said Khorafi said the prime minister had called him and offered him the ministerial job, and “we say that you have been forcibly imposed” on the premier, charging that what the minister had done was not patriotic but only strengthened suspected political deals. Kandari also charged that Khorafi had effectively and publicly bought his ministerial post and the prime minister should have been held accountable for appointing Khorafi. Ghanem then declared that the grilling had ended and adjourned the session till March 20.