Kuwait appoints first female finance minister

KUWAIT CITYMariam Al-Aqeel was named Finance Minister, the first female in the Gulf region to hold the post. In the new Cabinet unveiled by the new prime minister, two other women ministers, Khaled Al-Roudhan and Khaled Al-Fadhel, retained the portfolios of commerce and oil, respectively.

As finance minister, Al-Aqeel automatically heads the countrys sovereign wealth fund, Kuwait Investment Authority. Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah announced the 15member Cabinet, the ninth in the past eight years in the Gulf state, with many changes at the top of all the key ministries.

The old Cabinet stepped down a month ago after the defense minister alleged that nearly $800 million was stolen from a military aid fund.

Soon afterward the emir appointed Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah as prime minister and tasked him with forming a new government.

Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah, son of a former premier, was appointed foreign minister.

Sheikh Ahmed Mansour Al-Sabah was appointed defense minister, replacing the emir’s eldest son Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who brought the corruption charges to the public

Anas Al-Saleh, outgoing minister of state for cabinet affairs, was appointed interior minister, the first time a non-ruling family member takes the job. Kuwait is the only Gulf state with a fully elected parliament that enjoys wide legislative powers and can vote ministers out of office.

The country has been shaken by political disputes between lawmakers and the ruling family-led government for over a decade, with parliament and cabinets dissolved several times.


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