Kuwait, Asharq Al-Awsat—In a widely anticipated move, the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad, has reappointed Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak as prime minister, following the parliamentary elections that took place last Saturday. It was the sixth time in seven years that Kuwaitis have taken to the polls.
The elections for Kuwait’s 50-member parliament were the third to take place in the past year and a half, and saw 17 new legislators elected. Previous parliaments, elected in February and December of 2012, had been dissolved by the constitutional court.
Mubarak has been charged with forming a new government, which is expected to consist of some 15 ministerial positions.
The appointment came after a consultation with the Emir—as is tradition in Kuwait, a constitutional monarchy. The former prime minister Nasser Al-Mohammed and former National Assembly speaker Jassem Al-Kharafi also participated in the discussions.
Kuwait’s constitution—adopted in 1962, following complete independence from British rule the year before—stipulates: “the Emir, after the traditional consultations, appoints the Prime Minister and relieves him of office. The Emir also appoints ministers and relieves them of office upon the recommendation of the prime minister.”
Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak, who is 71 years old, first took office as prime minister in November 2011—the sixth figure to fill the position since 1963. His predecessors include the current Emir and other members of the ruling House of Al Sabah.
Prior to his assignment as prime minister, Sheikh Al-Mubarak held several key positions, such as the first deputy prime minister and minister of defense. He has also worked within the ministry of social affairs and labor and the ministry of information.
He is set to select members of his cabinet throughout the week, in preparation for recommending them to the Emir, as per the constitution.
Following the selection and approval of a new cabinet, the ministers will take a constitutional oath in front of the Emir and the parliament, which is scheduled to open on Tuesday August 6.
Faisal Al-Marshid, head of the kuwaiti judiciary, said that the concerted efforts of judiciary, and its cooperation with the relevant parties, contributed to the success of the elections.
Their efforts were continuous, throughout day and night, he said, thanking them for “their degree of responsibility and honesty, which led to the success of the 2013 National Assembly elections in an atmosphere of transparency and integrity.”
Marshid also praised the media for their coverage of the elections, and “their eagerness to show the civilized face of the state of Kuwait by transmitting a vivid image of what was occurring at polling stations and in the five constituencies.”