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Amir assigns PM to form Cabinet

MP-elect plans grilling

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 8: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah assigned Tuesday His Highness Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to form a government, the first under His Highness the Amir and the 37th in Kuwait’s history.

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

This will be His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled’s second Cabinet following the one he formed on Dec 17, 2019 until he tendered the Cabinet resignation on Dec 6 a day after parliamentary elections. His Highness the Prime Minister expressed gratitude to His Highness the Amir for assigning him as Prime Minister and to form a new government Tuesday. His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled made the remarks when he was received by His Highness the Amir at Bayan Palace after signing a decree appointing him as Prime Minister. He reiterated commitment to the Constitution and laws to serve the best interests of the State and citizens.

His Highness the Prime Minister prayed for Allah the Almighty to help him bear this responsibility to continue the process of development. There were seven officials, except His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled, who were Prime Ministers since 1962. Article 56 of the Constitution states that His Highness the Amir shall, after the traditional consultations, appoint the Prime Minister or relieve him of office. The Amir shall also appoint ministers and relieve them of office upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister. It says ministers shall be appointed from amongst the National Assembly members and from others, and that number of ministers in all shall not exceed one-third of the MPs.

Late Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah headed the first government in January 1962, while late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah chaired by the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Cabinets between January 1963 and November 1965, when he was Crown Prince and Prime Minister. Late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah chaired 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th governments between December 1965 and December 1977 before becoming the 13th Amir of the State. Late Father Amir Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah chaired the 10th government in February 1978 until the 20th Cabinet, which was formed in February 2001. Late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah chaired the 21st government in 2003 until the passing away of Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad in 2006. His Highness Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah chaired the 22-28 governments between February 2006 until December 2011.

Succeeded
His Highness Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al- Sabah succeeded His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad and took over the 29-35 governments between December 2011 until November 2019. Kuwait witnessed the formation of 37 governments over 57 years, the last of which was the one formed in December 2019 headed by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah and included 15 ministers.

The first government was called the transitional Cabinet, it was formed on Jan 17, 1962, and chaired by the late Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, consisting of 14 ministers, and it had a specific mandate, writing a Constitution, thus ended with the end of its task on Jan 27, 1963. The second government, formed on Jan 28, 1963, was chaired by Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah and consisted of 15 ministers including the late Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who was named Foreign Minister for the first time in post-independence Kuwait.

The third government was formed on Dec 6, 1964, chaired by Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem, consisting of 14 ministers, four of them were MPs. This government survived for 28 days only because it failed to win confidence of the National Assembly due to constitutional measures regarding the selection of some ministers. Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem chaired the fourth government that was formed on Jan 3, 1965 and included 13 ministers. The fifth government was formed on Dec 4, 1965 and was chaired by Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. This government consisted of 13 ministers including three MPs. Late Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad was given the Portfolios of Finance, Oil and Foreign Affairs.

MP-elect Badr Al-Dahoum has unveiled his plan to grill former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Anas Al-Saleh in case the latter is appointed to the same position. Al-Dahoum disclosed the grilling motion consists of only one point – that Al-Saleh is not competent for such a position. MP-elect Muhammad Al-Rajhi also announced his plan to take a similar step, revealing that his grilling motion will focus on two issues without specifying these issues. MP-elect Abdullah Al-Traiji confirmed receiving an invitation from MP-elect Abdulkareem Al-Kandari to the consultative meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

Absence
Al-Traiji explained that he did not attend the meeting held in the house of Al-Dahoum on Monday, because he did not receive an invitation. He added that his absence has nothing to do with his view regarding the election of the next National Assembly Speaker.

MP-elect Hamdan Al-Azmi said the return of incompetent ministers is considered a bad beginning due to the fact that the new government must match the remarkable outcome of the recently concluded parliamentary elections. He pointed out the formation of the new government will determine the extent of its cooperation with the Assembly, while affirming his support for the grilling of Al-Saleh if the latter gets reappointed as interior minister.

MP-elect Ali Abdulrasoul Al-Qattan denied rumors spread on social media about his alleged intention to vote for a new Speaker, asserting this is a violation of the Constitution and that he has yet to take a decision in this regard.

MP-elect Ahmed Al-Shuhoumi clarified that he left early during the consultative meeting in the house of Al- Dahoum on Monday, because he heard nothing but the announcement of those present that they will not vote for Marzouq Al-Ghanim in case he is nominated for the Speakership. He said he will decide on his own, apart from the opinion of others. MP-elect Muhannad Al-Sayer stressed the need to obligate the government to present a clear work program to the Assembly. He also intends to adopt the bills on amending the Elections Law and establishment of a special administrative court to rule on citizenship cancellation cases. Meanwhile, Kuwait Progressive Movement (KPM) urged the incoming prime minister to take into consideration the message of citizens in choosing the new ministers.

By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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