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Kuwait gov't in corruption rap over $2.6bn power plant
October 23, 2013, 4:21 pm

Kuwait's government has been accused of corruption over the awarding of contracts for a $2.6bn power plant.

A consortium of French, Japanese and Kuwaiti companies were awarded contracts to develop the North Al Zour plant in 2011 despite strong protests by the then-parliamentary opposition, which insisted the process had been illegal.

Former finance minister Mustafa Al-Shamali, now oil minister, was grilled over the issue in the National Assembly at the time.

As the newly-elected government prepares to resume parliament next week, MP Riyadh Al Adasani said he would question the prime minister over the project.

According to Kuwaiti law at the time, companies awarded contracts for the plant should be listed on the Kuwait bourse, which they were not, Adasani said.

The legislation has since been amended but is not retrospective.

He claimed the process also had been carried out in secret, against Kuwait law that demands government deals are done in public.

Minister of Public Works and Electricity and Water Abdulaziz Al Ibrahim also is facing a grilling when parliament returns, with MP Mohammad Al Hadeya accusing the minister of hindering the several key development projects in the country, including cancelling contracts to build roads and four new hospitals.

Al Hadeya said the minister’s reason that the projects were too expensive was unjustified.

Parliament is due to resume next week following a long break after the previous National Assembly was sacked in June when the Constitutional Court ruled the December 2012 election was null and void.

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