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Members of a new government headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah were sworn in before Kuwait's ruler, Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad, on Sunday (May 8th).
This is the seventh government formed by al-Sabah since his first appointment as prime minister in 2006. The new cabinet comprises 15 ministers, including six new faces that were not part of the previous government, which resigned on March 31st to avoid the questioning of three of its ministers by the National Assembly.
The Emir stressed in a speech "the importance of co-operation between the legislative and executive authorities, and the unity of efforts to fulfil constitutional responsibilities that are entrusted to everyone".
Among the most prominent changes in the cabinet is the appointment of the former Communications Minister Mohammad Mohsen al-Busairi, as the new oil minister, replacing Sheikh Ahmed Abdullah al-Sabah, a member of the ruling family.
Amani Khaled Bouresli was handed the Ministry of Trade and Industry, while members of the ruling family retained the Ministries of State, Defence and Interior.
Al-Sabah said that he and his government would spare no effort "to dedicate an outstretched hand to positive and fruitful co-operation with the National Assembly, our partner in carrying out the national responsibility."
The new government formation "will not change a lot of the issues that caused the strained situation in the past, which caused the previous government to submit its resignation", said Ibrahim Hadban, professor of political science at the University of Kuwait.
Hadban told Al-Shorfa, "A number of deputies of the National Assembly thought that the change was very slight in terms of the persons who were the cause of the crisis. Therefore, this government is not expected to achieve any improvements in the political arena."
"We wished and hoped that the state would form a government of technocrats that would perform for the benefit of the people, and not to be presented with the names of a number of intellectuals who are appointed and given ministerial portfolios in fields that are far from their areas of specialisation," he said.
"This makes this cabinet formation look like a scheme for a new crisis," he said. "As soon as National Assembly hearings will be convened, the situation will worsen because questioning will be heaped on some of the ministers that were supposed to have been removed in order to avoid such a situation."
Shafiq Ghabra, a political analyst and professor of political science at the University of Kuwait, said that even though many ministers were not replaced, the formation of the new cabinet is not bad. "The current assembly members, despite the many clashes that took place between them and the previous government, are nevertheless considered less severe and confrontational, and they are the only ones who managed to survive successive governments," he said.
Ghabra said Kuwait will face a crisis, not because of the new government formation, but because of the situation in the region around Kuwait -- especially the crisis in Bahrain.
He said, "Tremendous caution is required from the current government in terms of expressing its views on some regional issues."
Ghabra considered the ministerial change to be "mere details to which attention should not be paid at the present time. It is more important to have a deeper look at the goals that this new government is supposed to achieve to protect Kuwait from dangers that it may face due to what is happening in the Arab world".
Public reaction to the changes was mixed.
Engineer Badr Al-Mutairi, 35, welcomed the change of the oil minister, but he considered that fundamental change must include the prime minister himself.
He expected the government to clash quickly with some deputies in the assembly who, according to him, have already started in the preparation of new files with which to question ministers.
Bashayer al-Ajami, 45, criticised the way deputies in the assembly have dealt with the governments of Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad.
She told Al-Shorfa that the political and economic situations could no longer bear shocks, and believed that the prime minister was doing his best for the country, despite the obstacles placed in front of him.