DUBAI: Kuwait’s new emir announced an era of “reform” as a government including the first foreign minister from outside the ruling family took the oath of office on Wednesday.
Abdullah Al Yahya, a former ambassador to Argentina, was named in the coveted role as part of a cabinet of 13 led by Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah.
It is the first government under Emir Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmed Al Sabah, who came to power last month after the death of his predecessor and half-brother at 86.
Only two cabinet members are from the ruling family: Sheikh Fahad Yousuf Al Sabah, who becomes defence minister and acting interior minister, and Sheikh Firas Saud Al Malik Al Sabah, the minister of social affairs and acting minister of state for cabinet affairs.
Nura Al Mashaan, the sole woman, is the new public works and municipal affairs minister, and Dawood Suleiman Marafi, the youngest minister at 42, holds three portfolios - National Assembly affairs, communications, and youth affairs.
“I am pleased to meet with you after you have taken the constitutional oath, marking the commencement of your duties in a phase whose title is reform and development,” the emir told the new government.
In his inaugural speech last month, Sheikh Meshal had strongly criticised the recurring political crises that have long frustrated Kuwaitis.
The Opec member, home to seven percent of the world’s oil reserves, has the Gulf’s most powerful parliament but suffers chronic legislative deadlock due to stand-offs with the appointed cabinet.
Since Kuwait adopted a parliamentary system in 1962, the parliament has been dissolved around a dozen times, and last year’s elections were the seventh in just over a decade.
Following is the list of new ministers:
Fahad Yousef Saud Al Sabah: Deputy Prime Minister and acting Minister of Defence and Interior;
Dr. Imad Mohammed Al Atiqi: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil;
Abdul Rahman Baddah Al Motairi: Minister of Information and Culture;
Dr. Ahmad Abdul Wahhab Al Awadi: Minister of Health;
Feras Saud Al Malek Al Sabah: Minister of Social, Family and Childhood Affairs and acting Minister of State for Cabinet affairs;
Dr. Anwar Ali Al Mudhaf: Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Economic Affairs and Investment;
Dr. Salem Falah Al Hajraf: Minister of Electricity, Water and Energy, and Minister of State for Housing Affairs;
Dawood Sulaiman Marafi: Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Minister of State for Communication Affairs;
Dr. Adel Mohammed Al Adwani: Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research;
Abdullah Hamad Al Jouan: Minister of Commerce and Industry;
Abdullah Ali Al Yahya: Minister of Foreign Affairs;
Faisal Saeed Al Ghareeb: Minister of Jstice and Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and
Dr. Nora Mohammed Al Mashaan: Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs.