Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al Sabah has announced a new cabinet, appointing a new finance minister, Manaf Al Hajri while keeping other major cabinet roles unchanged, according to the state news agency Kuna. Manaf Al Hajri, a well-known figure in Kuwait’s business and finance circles, has been named as Minister for Finance and Minister of State for Economic and Investment Affairs. Bader Al Mulla will continue in his role as Oil Minister.
The political divisions and institutional gridlock that have hampered investment and reforms aimed at reducing Kuwait’s reliance on oil revenues continue to pose a challenge for the government. The removal of the former finance minister, Abd Al Wahhab Al Rasheed, who was an element of tension with the 2022 parliament, suggests that the government is trying to regain the trust of the people and is betting on the return of the 2022 parliament, said Ahmad Al Din, member of the political bureau of the Kuwaiti Progressive Movement.
Kuwait, which holds some of the world’s largest oil reserves, has strong fiscal and external balance sheets. However, relations between the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the National Assembly have been particularly tense since the Constitutional Court annulled last September’s election results. Sheikh Talal Al Khaled Al Sabah was reappointed as Minister of Interior and Acting Minister of Defence, while Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al Sabah remains Foreign Minister.
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