Following a deadlock between past governments and the parliament, Kuwait has formed a new cabinet with a new finance minister and three opposition legislators.
Mohammad al-Fares, the oil minister, was reappointed in the new cabinet unveiled on Tuesday.
Khalifa Hamada was succeeded as finance minister by Abdul Wahab al-Rasheed, the chairman of the non-governmental Kuwait Economic Society. Al-Rasheed is also known as a critic of the government’s fiscal policies before.
Other appointments include Khaled al-Saeed as Minister of Health, Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah as Minister of Defense and deputy PM, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Mansour Al-Sabah as Minister of Interior and deputy PM, Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Rana Al-Fares as Minister of State for Municipality Affairs and Minister of Communications.
With the nomination of 15 new government ministers, a month-long gridlock was broken with the unveiling of a new cabinet, which will have to deal with many political and financial issues.
This is the Gulf state’s third cabinet this year, following the resignations of the previous administrations in a conflict that hampered the state’s efforts at budgetary reform.
While further structural and budgetary changes, including a debt bill to tap international markets, remain stalled, the administration has attempted to temporarily strengthen finances.
The issue has delayed the reform of Kuwait’s welfare system and stopped the sheikhdom from taking on debt, leaving it with insufficient funds to pay bloated government salaries.
Despite handing over most constitutional powers to the crown prince, who issued the cabinet formation proclamation, Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, who had taken efforts to ease the deadlock, approved the cabinet, according to state media.
There is just one female minister in the cabinet. It has three opposition MPs and one pro-government legislator, in contrast to previous regimes, which often had only one member of parliament.