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Kuwait appoints new government amid political and financial turmoil

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Kuwait’s ruling emir announces new government

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The ruling Emir of Kuwait announced the formation of a new government on Tuesday, breaking a month-long standoff with the appointment of 15 new ministers who will face a series of hardships political and financial.

Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah’s new cabinet represents the Gulf Arab state’s fourth government in the past year and a half alone.

Kuwait has struggled to defuse a standoff between members of the Gulf’s only elected parliament and a government appointed by the Emir. The dispute delayed an overhaul of Kuwait’s welfare system and kept the sheikh out of debt, leaving him little in his coffers to pay inflated public sector wages.

In recent weeks, however, 84-year-old Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah has stepped up efforts to resolve the political paralysis, granting amnesty to members of the self-exiled opposition.

While it remains uncertain whether the new Cabinet can take swift action to appease the public, a few new young faces of civil society stood out among those appointees. Three members of the so-called opposition bloc in parliament have landed government posts, including the young and popular lawmaker Hamad Rouhaddeen, who succeeded the Information Ministry from a pro-government member of the royal family.

New finance minister Abduwahab al-Rushaid is another outspoken young figure enjoying substantial support from merchant families – shaking up a cabinet usually filled with older bureaucrats.

Kuwaiti analysts on social media suggested the new appointments could weaken the influence of opposition lawmakers in parliament who have blocked government reforms. More parliamentarians now have tribal representation in the new cabinet and can be persuaded to support the government.

Sheikh Nawaf wished the Prime Minister good luck from his palace and expressed “the hope that the executive and legislative branches would cooperate for the development and well-being of Kuwait,” the official KUNA news agency reported.

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