KUWAIT CITY // Kuwait's ruler has appointed Defence Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah as the country's new prime minister, state-run Kuwait Television announced.
Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah asked the new premier to form the cabinet which will be the eighth since February 2006 when the former premier was appointed.
Sheikh Jaber, a senior member of the ruling family, replaces premier Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah, who quit on Monday under pressure from the opposition.
Sheikh Jaber, 69, has been in the cabinet since 2001 and was also the first deputy premier in the outgoing cabinet.
Opposition Islamist MP Falah Al Sawwagh said the new government is likely to be a transitional cabinet mainly to oversee the next election after dissolving parliament.
Mr Sawwagh said that a decree by the emir dissolving parliament and calling for snap polls was expected soon. New elections have to be held within two months, according to Kuwaiti law.
Kuwaiti opposition MPs have repeatedly called for dissolving parliament as members of the house are facing allegations of corruption.
Mr Sawwagh told reporters that the Kuwaiti opposition decided after a meeting yesterday to "suspend all mass rallies in respect for the emir who is currently taking decisive decisions."