Ahmad Abdullah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, Kuwait's new Prime Minister. Image Credit: WAM

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait’s emir on Monday tasked a former oil minister with forming a new government, state media reported, after the latest parliamentary polls in the Gulf state riven by political instability.

“Today an Emiri order was issued appointing Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al Ahmad Al Sabah as prime minister and assigning him to nominate members of the new cabinet,” the Kuwait News Agency said.

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The move comes just a few months into the reign of Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmad Al Sabah and less than two weeks after Kuwait’s third parliamentary vote in as many years saw the opposition maintain its majority.

The government resigned a day after those polls held on April 4.

The outgoing prime minister, Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah, refused to take up the position again amid ongoing tensions between the government and the 50-member National Assembly.

Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah, the 71-year-old new prime minister, served as oil and information minister from 2009 to 2011 and has recently been head of the crown prince’s court with a ministerial rank.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance, banking and investment from the University of Illinois.

Kuwait boasts approximately seven per cent of the world’s oil reserves and the Gulf’s most powerful elected assembly.

But political dysfunction - often stemming from elected representatives’ attempts to hold the royally-installed cabinet to account for issues including corruption - has thwarted Kuwait’s efforts to diversify its economy along the lines of neighbouring Gulf states.