Marzouq Al Ganem Image Credit: AFP

Manama: With the Kuwaiti parliamentary elections barely over and the government’s resignation handed to the Emir, speculation is rife on possible candidates for the prime minister and speaker posts in parliament.

Kuwaitis on Saturday voted in their 15th parliament since independence, making impressive changes to its composition and delivering several surprises that boosted the presence of younger and independent candidates and fractured long-held concepts of inevitable religious influence and inescapable tribal power.

On Monday, and in accordance with 57 Article of the Constitution, Prime Minister Shaikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah submitted the government’s resignation to the Emir, Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah.

In his resignation letter, Shaikh Jaber said the government lived up to its pledge to “do its best to fulfil the objectives and meet the aspirations of Kuwaitis.”

“Ministers have managed to accomplish numerous achievements that met the ambitions and hopes of all Kuwaitis, thanks to the constructive and fruitful cooperation with the lawmakers during the previous legislative term,” Shaikh Jaber said.

Sincere efforts of Kuwaitis also contributed to accomplishing such achievements, he added.

The resignation now paves the way for the Emir to start consultations over who will be appointed prime minister amid high expectations that Shaikh Jaber will be asked to remain in office and form the new government.

Speculations in the northern Arabian Gulf state say that there would be no great shake-up of the outgoing cabinet with all sovereign ministries remaining unchanged.

Al Seyassah daily on Tuesday said that five new faces could make their debuts in the government and will be given portfolios related to health, public works, justice, parliamentary affairs, municipality, commerce and education.

Two ministers are expected to remain in their offices, Ahmad Al Jassar in Electricity and Yasser Abul in Housing.

The report said that Talal Al Jalal who was elected in the fifth district to the parliament on Saturday will be appointed minister of justice, endowments and Islamic affairs.

The formation of the new government is expected to be announced early next week.

In parallel to the formation of the new government, the battle for who will be the Speaker of parliament is gaining in intensity.

Outgoing Speaker Marzouq Al Ganem is emerging as the favourite, particularly that his rivals have yet to agree on a single name that could stand against him before the parliament convenes for the first time on December 11.

Lawmakers Abdullah Al Roumi and Shuaib Al Muwaizri said they would contest for the position despite string of calls by those who oppose Al Ganem to decide on a single competitor.

A suggested compromise by their supporters to overcome the deadlock is to select a name to run as Speaker and the other as Deputy Speaker.