Kuwait's emir announces 'new government' in latest controversial political shake-up

Kuwait's emir announces 'new government' in latest controversial political shake-up
Emir of Kuwait, Shaykh Sabah Al-Sabah, has issued a royal decree announcing the formation of a new government, after a month-long political deadlock.
2 min read
17 December, 2019
The Prime Minister of the new government, Khaled Al Sabah [Getty]
Emir of Kuwait, Shaykh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, on Tuesday announced the formation a new government, led by Prime Minister Shaykh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah. 

According to Kuwait's Ray Al-Youm, the emir swore in the new government at the Bayan Palace, urging that it abide by "the consitution, law and serve to protect to public finance".

Of 14 members of the new cabinet, over half are new appointments.

Ahmad Mansour Al-Ahmad and Anas Al-Khaled Nasser have been announced as deputies to the prime minister, while the former has been named as defence minister and the latter as minister of the interior, a portfolio usually reserved by a member of the ruling Al-Sabah family.  

The new government includes three female ministers, Rana Al-Faris, the new minister of public property and housing affairs, Ghadeer Mahmoud, minister of social Affairs and Mariam Al-Aqeel, finance minister.

The reshuffle comes following a tense period in Kuwaiti politics.

The previous government submitted its resignation to the emir following tense exchanges between key members of cabinet and lawmakers, while outgoing Prime Minister Shaykh Jaber Al-Mubarak turned down a request to lead the new government in the aftermath.

Read more: Deadlock in Kuwait as prime minister declines reappointment, while emir removes controversial ministers

Minister of Finance Nayef al-Hajraf and Minister of Public Works Jenan Bushehri had both resigned last month, after being grilled by parliament for alleged mismanagement of their portfolios and poor use of public funds.

Prime Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah and his cabinet followed suit. Sheikh Nasser Al-Sabah, the former defence minister, accused the outgoing government of embezzlement $800 million from a military aid fund.

Read more: Kuwait's government quit over embezzlement, defence chief says 

The defence minister claimed that he discovered the embezzlement while Interior Minister Khaled Al-Sabah, was in office. While the row between two was ongoing, the emir intervened to discharge both of their duties. 

The oil-rich country is accustomed to disputes between lawmakers and members of the ruling family-led government, with parliaments and cabinets dissolved several times in the past decade. 

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