SAT 25 - 1 - 2020
Dec 18, 2019
The Daily Star
Kuwait forms new govt after graft allegations
Agence France Presse
KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait’s new prime minister unveiled his Cabinet Tuesday, changing key ministers after accusations of corruption and infighting forced the previous government to resign. The old Cabinet stepped down a month ago after the defense minister alleged that nearly $800 million had been stolen from a military aid fund.
Soon afterward the emir appointed Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled Al-Sabah as prime minister and tasked him with forming a new government.
The new 15-member Cabinet, the ninth in the past eight years in the oil-rich Gulf state, saw changes at the top of all the key ministries.
Sheikh Ahmad Nasser al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, son of a former premier, was appointed foreign minister.
Sheikh Ahmad Mansour Al-Sabah was appointed defense minister, replacing the emir’s eldest son Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who brought the corruption charges to the public.
Anas al-Saleh, outgoing minister of state for Cabinet affairs, was appointed interior minister, the first time a non-ruling family member takes the job.
The new government includes three women, an increase from two in the previous Cabinet, including Mariam al-Aqueel in the key Finance Ministry.
Khaled al-Roudhan and Khaled al-Fadhel retained the portfolios of commerce and oil, respectively.
Kuwait is the only Gulf state with a fully elected Parliament that enjoys wide legislative powers and can vote ministers out of office.
The country has been shaken by political disputes between MPs and the ruling family-led government for over a decade, with parliament and cabinets dissolved several times.
A demonstration held outside parliament in early November over alleged rampant corruption was reminiscent of past crises that have marred political life in the country.
Kuwait is scheduled to elect a new Parliament in November next year and the new Cabinet will be required to resign in accordance with the constitution.
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