Kuwait’s prime minister appointed a cabinet including new faces at the oil and finance ministries, days after voters eager for change in the energy-rich nation tossed out half of parliament.
Khalifa Hamada was appointed minister of finance, state-run KUNA news agency reported Monday. Hamada, who served as finance ministry undersecretary for more than a decade, is the fifth person to hold the post in just under seven years.
Mohammed Alfares, a board member of Kuwait Petroleum Corp., was named minister of oil, electricity and water, becoming the country’s eighth energy minister in as many years. Faisal Al-Medlej, who headed the body for developing the northern Silk City and Boubyan Island project, was named minister of commerce and industry.
The election was held at a critical moment for an economy reeling from lower oil prices, the coronavirus pandemic and stalled reform. Lawmakers have thwarted plans to reallocate state handouts and blocked proposals to issue debt.
The Gulf nation, home to about 6% of the world’s oil reserves and the fourth-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is facing a record budget deficit. The International Monetary Fund expects gross domestic product to contract more than 8% this year.
Credit: Financial Post