Kuwait MPs in walkout over cabinet

Protests mark parliament's first session amid appeals by emir for co-operation with cabinet.

    Sunday's session featured women MPs whose refusal to cover their hair prompted a walkout [AFP]

    In the cabinet announced on Friday, six new ministers were named.

    Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, a nephew of Sheikh Sabah, was appointed prime minister. This is the sixth cabinet he has headed since 2006.
     
    Another nephew of the emir, Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad Al-Sabah, was reappointed oil minister and got three more portfolios - deputy prime minister for economic affairs, minister of state for development affairs and minister of state for housing affairs.

    Running standoff
     
    Although Sunni Islamists, who had long dominated the assembly, lost about half their seats to Shias and liberals, analysts say the changes are not enough to end a long-running standoff with the government.
     
    Continuing tensions could hamper vital legislation, including a $5bn economic stimulus package.

    It had faced resistance in the old parliament and was adopted by the government after the legislature was dissolved.
     
    The tensions also threaten plans to diversify Kuwait's economy which relies heavily on oil, and could leave the world's fourth-largest oil exporter exposed to price fluctuations.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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