Kuwait’s crown prince reappointed Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf al-Sabah, the ruling emir’s son, as prime minister on Wednesday after the government’s resignation following legislative polls in the Gulf state, where a domestic political feud has stalled reforms.
A decree issued by Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah instructed Sheikh Ahmad to nominate a cabinet for approval, state news agency KUNA reported, following the elections in which opposition members made big gains. Kuwait, an OPEC oil producer, held early elections on Sept. 29 after the crown prince, who has taken over most of the emir’s duties, dissolved parliament in a bid to end the standoff.
Kuwait bans political parties but has given its legislature more influence than similar bodies in other Gulf monarchies, and political stability in the U.S.-allied country has traditionally hinged on cooperation between the government and parliament. Sheikh Ahmad was first named prime minister in July after some opposition MPs staged an open-ended sit-in to press for a new premier.
He replaced Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah, who resigned in April ahead of a non-cooperation motion in parliament against him. While Kuwait’s leadership, following opposition demands, has moved to clamp down on perceived corruption, restructure some key institutions and grant amnesty to dissidents, key reform proposals such as a public debt law remain stalled.
The dissolved parliament had yet to approve the state budget for the fiscal year that started in April 2022. The outgoing finance minister had said the government would continue to work according to the 2021/2022 budget and that the next one needed to be approved before November. The 2022/2023 budget draft has set spending at 23.65 billion dinars ($77.24 billion) compared with 23.48 billion in the previous budget.