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Kuwait PM forms new government

Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah has formed a new government.

According to state news agency KUNA, the new government formed on Sunday includes 14 Cabinet ministers.

Sheikh Ahmed was reappointed prime minister by the crown prince in March, more than a month after his government resigned following a standoff with parliament.

The government formation came a few days after Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al Ghanim appealed to the country’s rulers to intervene to resolve the crisis between parliament and the premier after the government failed to appear before the assembly.

Disagreements between parliament and the government have often led to the resignation of the Cabinet in the Gulf country.

Sheikh Sabah appointed a new finance minister
as part of the cabinet reshuffle, according to state news agency KUNA.

Manaf Abdulaziz Al Hajri was made minister for finance and minister of state for economic and investment affairs, while Bader Al Mulla, the incumbent oil minister, stays on in the role.

“The biggest challenge for the government is to regain the
trust of the people,” said Ahmad al Din, a member of the political
bureau of the Kuwaiti Progressive Movement (left).

“The removal of Abd al Wahhab al Rasheed (former finance
minister), who was an element of tension with the 2022
parliament, indicates that the current government is betting on
the return of the 2022 parliament,” he added.

Kuwait annuls 2022 legislative polls, reinstates old parliament

Political infighting hampers investment and reforms

Kuwait holds some of the world’s largest oil reserves and
has strong fiscal and external balance sheets, but political
bickering and institutional gridlock have hampered investment
and reforms aimed at reducing its heavy reliance on oil

Relations have been particularly tense between the prime
minister and the speaker of the National Assembly, elected in
2020 since the Constitutional Court in March annulled last
September’s election results.

Finance Minister Al Hajri was CEO of the asset management and
banking institution Kuwait Financial Center for 16 years before
resigning in 2020 and is well-known in business and finance
circles in Kuwait.

Sheikh Talal Al Khaled Al Sabah was re-appointed as minister
of interior and acting minister of defence, and Sheikh Salem
Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah remains the foreign minister.

READ MORE: “Major oil powers cut production by more than 1 million barrels per day”

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