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Sheikh Jaber reappointed Kuwait prime minister
July 30, 2013, 10:34 am

Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah was on Monday reappointed as prime minister following the parliamentary elections on Saturday and the resignation of the government.

Shaikh Jaber, who was appointed by Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, will now form his fourth cabinet in 18 months.

The Kuwaiti cabinet is traditionally made up of 16 ministers whose names have to be endorsed by the emir. One of the ministers must be a parliamentarian who has won a seat in the latest elections.

Prior to the announcement of Shaikh Jaber’s appointment, the emir received separately former parliament speaker Jasem Al Kharafi and former prime minister Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad for consultations.

Kuwaiti citizens braved sweltering summer temperatures and long hours of fasting to cast their ballots in the country’s first elections during Ramadan. Calls by some opposition figures to boycott the national polls did not dampen their enthusiasm for the vote, either.

Only two of the 50 parliamentarians elected are women. One of them is Safa Al Hashem, a businesswoman who made history by becoming the first woman to win seats in two consecutive parliamentary elections.

The other elected woman, Maasouma Al Mubarak, made history in 2009 when she became one of the first four women to be elected to the Kuwaiti parliament, four years after women were accorded political rights and allowed to contest as candidates in national elections.

Maasouma failed to win in the February 2012 elections, but was able to win a seat in the December 2012 elections. On Saturday, she repeated her feat to become the only woman in the country to win in three different elections.

The outgoing cabinet, complying with Kuwait’s laws, had approved a draft decree inviting new lawmakers to hold their first parliamentary session on August 6.

Kuwait boasts one of the most open political systems in the region but parliaments have been repeatedly dissolved in the recent past over procedural disputes or for challenging the government.


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