New Kuwaiti government sworn in after political crisis

AFP , Monday 17 Oct 2022

Kuwait's crown prince swore in a reshuffled new government on Monday, less than a month after the oil-rich emirate held parliamentary elections in which the opposition reaped major gains.

Sheikh Ahmed Nawaf al-Ahmed Al-Sabah
Kuwait s Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nawaf al-Ahmed Al-Sabah. Photo courtesy of Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)


The elections came after the previous parliament was dissolved, capping off a political stand-off between the former cabinet and legislature that saw lawmakers occupy the national assembly building for days.

The new government team, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nawaf al-Ahmed Al-Sabah -- son of the country's 85-year-old ruler -- comes after lawmakers objected to an initial line-up in early October.

Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah, who has been delegated many of the emir's responsibilities, "received the prime ministers and ministers who were sworn in", the state news agency KUNA reported.

The new government will be tasked with dealing with "priority issues" such as development, investments and the fight against corruption, KUNA quoted the crown prince as saying.

Charges of corruption have been at the heart of tensions as opposition MPs have routinely levelled graft accusations at ministers in successive cabinets.

The new cabinet line-up comprises 15 ministers, including two women, with two new names in key posts -- Salem Al-Sabah as foreign minister and Badr al-Mulla leading the petroleum ministry.

The elections in late September saw Kuwaitis elect an opposition-led parliament once again, with women making a comeback in the legislature after two female lawmakers secured seats.

Twenty-eight of the 50 seats were won by opposition candidates as 20 former MPs were ousted, including three former ministers.

The only fully elected parliament in the Gulf, Kuwait's National Assembly has been fraught with repeated crises between the executive and legislature, with September's elections marking the sixth in a decade.

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