Kuwaiti minister resigns hours after being appointed in new government

Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmed formed a new Cabinet on Wednesday after being reappointed as premier after snap elections

Kuwaiti MP Ammar Al Ajmi resigned hours after being appointed. Photo: Twitter
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Ammar Al Ajmi, the appointed Minister of Public Works and Electricity, announced his resignation hours after Kuwait's Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nawaf Al Sabah formed his government, citing a lack of public trust in some of the Cabinet appointees.

“Serving the people of Kuwait is an honour linked to an honest and homogenous team that bears responsibility and respects the constitution, and when the government team contains some figures who have lost popular confidence and do not respect the constitution, I have to decline from joining such a team, knowing that I had previously asked for the names and they were withheld from me,” Mr Al Ajmi tweeted hours after the Cabinet was announced.

Sheikh Ahmed formed a new Cabinet late on Wednesday after being reappointed as premier following snap elections last week. He kept several ministers from his previous Cabinet but appointed new oil and defence ministers.

The new Cabinet includes Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al Sabah who survived a vote of no confidence in February after MPs filed a motion to investigate alleged financial irregularities in his department.

Kuwait held early elections on September 29 after Crown Prince Sheikh Meshaal dissolved parliament in an attempt to end a political stand-off between the government and the legislature that has hindered fiscal reforms.

The crown prince said Kuwait’s leadership would rely on the people to elect a parliament after the previous assembly adopted “practices and behaviours that threaten national unity".

Three hundred and five candidates, including 22 women, sought election in the vote held last Thursday. Of the 50 seats up for election, 28 were won by opposition candidates, with 20 former MPs ousted, including three former ministers.

Stalemates between Kuwait's government and parliament often lead to Cabinet reshuffles and the dissolution of the legislature, affecting investment and reforms.

While Kuwait's leadership, following opposition demands, has moved to crack down on perceived corruption, restructure some key institutions and grant amnesty to political dissidents, key reform proposals such as a public debt law remain stalled.

The dissolved parliament had yet to approve the state budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year that began in April. The acting finance minister had said it needed to be approved before November and until then the government would continue working based on the 2021-2022 budget.

Updated: October 06, 2022, 10:28 AM