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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

New Kuwait cabinet: Emir names eldest son as defence minister

The previous government, which had been formed a year ago, resigned on October 30 following a dispute with members of parliament who filed a no-confidence motion against a senior minister

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, pictured here presiding over the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Kuwait City on December 5, 2017, has sworn in a new government. Jon Gambrell / AP
Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, pictured here presiding over the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Kuwait City on December 5, 2017, has sworn in a new government. Jon Gambrell / AP

The Kuwaiti emir swore in a new government on Monday, handing control of the defence ministry to his eldest son and appointing new oil and finance ministers.

The move comes weeks after the previous government, which had been formed a year ago, resigned following a dispute with members of parliament who filed a no-confidence motion against a senior minister.

Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah issued a decree naming the new line-up, with Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah, a senior member of the ruling family, staying on as prime minister.

The emir's eldest son, Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, 69, was appointed as first deputy prime minister and defence minister.

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Read more: Kuwait's government upheaval puts energy reforms in jeopardy

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This is the first ministerial job for Sheikh Nasser, who has been the head of the royal court since early 2006.

He is seen as the main driving force behind "Silk City", one of Kuwait's mega projects with investments estimated at more than US$100 billion (Dh367.3bn).

The 16-member cabinet features nine newcomers, including changes at the oil and finance ministries.

Bakheet Al Rasheedi, a former top oil executive, replaces the outgoing oil minister Essam Al Marzouk.

Nayef Al Hajraf, former head of the Capital Markets Authority, will take over the finance ministry from Anas Al Saleh who was appointed as state minister for cabinet affairs.

The previous cabinet resigned at the end of October after opposition lawmakers filed a no-confidence motion against Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al Sabah, then the state minister for cabinet affairs.

The deputies accused him of alleged financial and administrative irregularities, which he denied.

Sheikh Mohammad, a senior member of the royal family, was left out from the new cabinet.

Kuwait has been shaken by political disputes between lawmakers and the government for over a decade with both parliament and cabinets dissolved several times.