The woman in the outgoing government, Massouma al-Mubarak, who became Kuwait's first female cabinet minister in 2005, is promoted to health minister.

 

She held the planning and administrative development portfolio in the previous government.

 

Ruling family

 

As usual in Kuwait, ruling family members will hold the portfolios of interior, defence and foreign affairs.

 

The former ministry of energy was divided, with the outgoing minister, Sheikh Ali, retaining the oil portfolio and a new person, Mohammed al-Oleim, being appointed minister of electricity and water.

 

Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, made no comment on the government's aims or policies in the decree which was read out by a presenter on national television.

 

No confidence

 

The outgoing cabinet resigned on March 4 to pre-empt a vote of no confidence in the health minister, a member of the ruling family.

 

Ministers had forced a vote of no-confidence in the minister, Sheikh Ahmed Al Sabah, accusing him of mismanagement, incompetence and deteriorating health services.

 

Votes of no-confidence in a minister are always a source of tension between the legislature and executive in this small oil-rich state.

 

They are usually avoided by the minister's resignation, a cabinet reshuffle or the dissolution of the 50-member legislature.