The Kuwaiti prime minister replaced his oil, finance and interior ministers on Sunday in a reshuffle meant to avoid a showdown with the opposition-controlled parliament. Sheikh Nasser Mohammed al-Ahmed al-Sabah changed nine of his 15 ministers in the second cabinet reshuffle in the space of seven months, the official KUNA news agency reported.
Bader Mishari al-Humaidhi was moved from the finance to the oil ministry in an effort to spare him from being called to account in parliament after an Islamist MP filed a request to question him last week. Mustafa al-Shamali, a finance ministry undersecretary, was appointed finance minister, while Sheikh Jaber Khaled al-Sabah, a former army chief of staff, was named as interior minister.
Minister of Islamic Affairs Abdullah al-Maatuq, who had also been called to appear before parliament by Islamist MPs, was left out of the new line-up.
Besides the interior and finance ministers, the new government featured two new faces -- Jamal al-Shehab for social affairs and labour and justice and Abdullah al-Taweel, a former commerce minister, for the health portfolio.
The new line-up separated the defence and interior posts, keeping Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah as first deputy premier and defence minister, but taking away his interior ministry responsibilities.
Besides the prime minister, the new cabinet includes four members of the ruling Al-Sabah family who hold the key portfolios of defence, foreign affairs, the interior and information.