Country Risk

New Kuwaiti government likely to prioritise weakening parliamentary opposition on national security grounds, while continuing existing mega-projects

13 December 2017


Kuwait’s new 16-member cabinet, formed by Prime Minister Jaber al-Mubarak al-Hamad al-Sabah, was sworn into office on 12 December

Of the 16, five are members of the royal family and nine are new to the cabinet. Most notably, the Kuwaiti Emir’s eldest son, Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, was appointed First Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, the most senior cabinet position after that of prime minister. Former Minister of Information/State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Mohammed al-Abdullah al-Sabah, whose anticipated no-confidence vote prompted the cabinet’s dissolution in October, was removed, in an apparent concession to the parliament. In his inaugural speech, Prime Minister Jaber announced that the government’s two priorities are to shield the country from sectarianism to preserve national unity and to implement diversification-oriented economic reforms likely to involve reducing inefficiencies in current and capital spending, rationalising state wage bills and reducing energy subsidies.

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