International Business

Kuwait’s prime minister formed a cabinet that includes a new oil minister. The government has seven new faces including Essam Al Marzouk who was named minister of oil, electricity and water.

Mr Al Marzouk, a member of a merchant family, was a board member in national oil conglomerate Kuwait Petroleum Corp and also the head of the Kuwait Bourse Company. Besides prime minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah, the cabinet includes five members of the Al Sabah royal family.

Sheikh Mohammad Khaled Al Sabah, the former interior minister and a senior royal, was moved to the defence post. The defence minister in the previous cabinet, Sheikh Khaled Jarrah Al Sabah, who is also a member of the ruling family, was given the interior portfolio. Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al Sabah, a royal, was also retained.

Anas Al Saleh remained the finance minister in the new cabinet despite strong criticism for his economic policies which included reducing subsidies and raising the price of petrol.

The Kuwaiti government resigned last month as required by the constitution following the November 26 general election in which the opposition and its allies won nearly half the seats in parliament. The Islamist-dominated opposition has vowed to oppose the government’s austerity measures in the face of low oil revenues.

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