- Kuwait Times Extra
KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah issued a decree yesterday forming the new Cabinet, which is expected to last for only a few months until the upcoming parliamentary elections when the Cabinet is required to resign. The new 14-member Cabinet, headed by Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, retained 13 members from the previous government and one newcomer, strengthening indications that the government will be temporary. At the same time, the ministers of defense, interior, foreign affairs, health, public works and electricity and water were returned to their earlier posts. Additionally, Hani Hussein was retained as oil minister and also as acting minister of awqaf and Islamic affairs, while education minister Nayef Al-Hajraf was moved to finance, replacing Mustafa Al-Shamali who was forced to resign. Furthermore, commerce and industry minister Anas Al-Saleh was retained and given the housing portfolio while communications minister Salem Al-Othaina was also made acting minister of social affairs and labour.
MP Rola Dashti was the only newcomer in the Cabinet, appointed state minister for planning and development and state minister for National Assembly affairs. She is also the sole woman and only lawmaker in the Cabinet. Under the law, at least one MP must be included in the Cabinet. There were no women in the previous Cabinet. The new Cabinet is expected to recommend to the Amir to dissolve the 2009 Assembly, which was reinstated by the constitutional court last month and paves the way for holding new elections.
The June 20 constitutional court ruling nullified the Feb 2012 elections, scrapping the 2012 Assembly and reinstating the 2009 Assembly, which was dissolved in December last year. The court based its ruling on the grounds that a decree that dissolved the 2009 Assembly was found to be flawed. The previous government vowed that it would take all measures to implement the constitutional court ruling, which is expected to include dissolving the Assembly and calling for new elections.
The dates for the two actions have not been announced and the new election is likely to be held in early October or November. The opposition has demanded that the government quickly dissolve the 2009 Assembly and call for fresh elections, and warned against amending the electoral law and the voting system, with some parts of the opposition threatening they would boycott the election if changes take place.
By B Izzak, Staff Writer
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