New cabinet announced following Kuwait election
Kuwait announced the formation of a new Cabinet late Saturday, following parliamentary elections last month in which liberals made slight gains.
According to the state news agency, Mustapha al-Shamali was appointed oil minister in the new Cabinet. He has previously held the position on an acting basis, after his predecessor, Hani Hussein, resigned in May under pressure from parliament, Reuters reports.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry, which Shamali previously led, will now be headed by Salem al-Sabah.
Mohamed Khaled al-Hamadal-Sabah will serve as interior minister.
The outgoing cabinet, complying with Kuwait's laws, had approved a draft decree inviting new lawmakers to hold their first parliamentary session on Aug.6.
The liberals’ gains in the polls last month were a major blow to Kuwait’s Shiite minority, who lost more than half of their seats in parliament.
The final results, released by judicial authorities, showed Shiite candidates winning just eight seats in the 50-member parliament, according to AFP, adding that Shiite candidates had won a record 17 in the previous house elected in December.
Shiites form around 30 percent of Kuwait’s native population of 1.23 million.
Their previous win was scrapped in a court ruling last month.
Some groups who had boycotted the previous polls chose to take part this time, in particular Bedouin tribes and liberal groups.
At least two Shiite and two Sunni religious radicals, who were accused of inciting sectarian tension, failed in their bid for re-election.
Liberals, Shiites, Sunni Islamists, merchants and almost all Bedouin tribes have representatives in parliament.
The Liberals, who had no seat in the previous parliament, won at least three this time. Sunni Islamists increased their presence from five to seven seats and tribal groups have maintained their strength of 24 seats.