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kuwait emir endorses cabinetKuwait’s ruler Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah has endorsed a new cabinet that includes two women and seven members of the ruling al-Sabah family.

The official Kuwait News Agency announced Sunday that the Kuwaiti Emir had given his blessing to the new cabinet that was announced more than a week after parliamentary elections saw the conservative Sunni tribes and liberals make gains. The results, however, still left the 50-seat parliament in the hands of lawmakers friendly to Kuwait’s pro-Western ruling family.

The election — a rarity during the holy month of Ramadan — was called after a constitutional court threw out the results of a December election, over a procedural flaw.

Kuwait has one of the most empowered parliaments in the Gulf region, but constant political tension has crippled its work.

Opposition groups ranging from liberals to Islamists and tribal leaders boycotted December’s elections in protest at an electoral law decreed by Kuwait’s emir last October which sparked mass protests.

The law allowed each voter to choose just one candidate at the ballot box, down from four previously.

Kuwait’s parliament has lawmaking powers and can hold government ministers to account.

However, the emir has the final say in matters of state. He also chooses the prime minister, who in turn picks a cabinet, with members of the ruling al-Sabah family occupying the top posts.

The news agency reported that Sheik Sabah called for the cabinet to work with the parliament and for the people as ministers took the oath of office.

 

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