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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK
Sabahs dominate Kuwaiti cabinet
Kuwaiti politicians celebrate results of election
The elections were hailed as a victory for opposition supporters
Kuwait's ruler has approved a new cabinet dominated by his own family, despite the opposition's victory last month in parliamentary elections.

The Sabah dynasty members retained the top portfolios including energy (oil) defence, interior and foreign affairs.

The new government line-up includes one woman who was moved from the planning ministry to communications.

The election was the first in Kuwait in which women were allowed to take part, although no women were elected.

State TV reported that Kuwait's emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, issued a decree appointing the new Cabinet based on the recommendations of Prime Minister Nasser Muhammad al-Sabah.

The previous cabinet resigned after the 29 June general election, which was held after the emir dissolved parliament amid a deadlock with the government over electoral reforms.

Reform agenda

High level losers include former Energy Minister Sheikh Ahmed al-Fahd al-Sabah - a nephew of the emir - who was strongly criticised by opposition reformists in the last parliament.

Kuwait map
The minister for cabinet affairs, Muhammad Daifallah Sharar, also lost his job.

Both men were accused by MPs of fostering corruption and trying to block political reform, accusations they deny.

The only elected MP to take a seat in cabinet is Fahd al-Hajeri, who is given the commerce and industry portfolio.

In addition to the female minister, Massouma al-Mubarak, the cabinet contains two members of the Shia Muslim minority in Kuwait, as was the case in the previous government.

Hotly contested parliamentary elections ended with reformist candidates winning 33 of the 50 elected seats. The 65-seat chamber includes seats for the 15 appointed cabinet members.

Under Kuwaiti law, the cabinet does not require a vote of confidence from parliament which will reconvenes on Wednesday.

But correspondents say MPs may declare non-cooperation with the new cabinet.


SEE ALSO
Kuwaiti women's time has come
29 Jun 06 |  Middle East
First for women in Kuwait election
27 Jun 06 |  Middle East
Q&A: Kuwait election
26 Jun 06 |  Middle East
Kuwaiti leader calls new election
21 May 06 |  Middle East
Kuwaiti MPs confirm crown prince
20 Feb 06 |  Middle East
Conservatism threatens Kuwaiti reforms
21 Jan 06 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Country profile: Kuwait
09 May 06 |  Country profiles



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