KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – Kuwait Information and Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Sabah on Thursday survived a no-confidence vote filed against him on allegations that his failure to apply media laws risked national unity.
Twenty-threevoted for the minister, 22 against and three members abstained in the motion which needed 25 votes to oust him from office.
Only elected MPs who are not cabinet members are allowed to vote on such motions.
Sheikh Ahmad, a senior member of the ruling family, was questioned last week on accusations that he failed to apply media laws on newspapers and private television channels that have targeted national unity.
Opposition MP Ali al-Deqbasi, who questioned the minister, charged that some local media have been campaigning against Kuwait's national unity, which he said was more dangerous than terrorism.
The grilling was triggered by a television show aired in December that was deemed offensive to the country's bedouin tribes, who constitute half of the 1.1 million citizen population.
During a brief debate before the vote, opposition MPs again accused the minister of not taking any measures against what they said were "corrupt media" that incited sectarian and social rifts.
MP Marzouk al-Ghanem questioned the sources of funding of several newspapers and private television channels "which have been operating without any commercials."
Last week, the minister told MPs that his ministry has filed 162 cases against publications and 47 cases against television channels to the 's office since the start of 2007 for violating the law.
Sheikh Ahmad was appointed to the cabinet as oil minister in February 2009 and was also given the information portfolio following ain May.
His grilling was the sixth againstin the new parliament. Bids to oust the and in those investigations failed.
OPEC's fourth largest producer has been rocked by political instability in recent years amid sharp differences between the government and parliament.
Kuwait's political disputes have deepened since Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah, a nephew of the ruler, was appointed premier in 2006, forcing him to resign five times and form six different cabinets.
Parliament has also been dissolved three times and fresh elections held.
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