Kuwait gets new oil minister, again
The Emir of the oil-rich Gulf country of Kuwait on Monday swore in Sheikh Ahmed Abdullah al-Sabbah, a leading scion of Gulf country's ruling family, as permanent oil minister, Kuwait's official KUNA news agency reported.
Sheikh Ahmed took an oath before Emir Sheikh Sabah Ahmed al-Sabah on Monday, and will be sworn in before Parliament Tuesday, dpa reported.
His appointment fills an important seat in the Cabinet that has remained vacant since the new government was unveiled in January.
The post is particularly important in Kuwait, which depends on the 2.2 million barrels of oil it produces a day for 90 percent of its income.
Perhaps because of the post's importance, Kuwaiti oil ministers have come under intense political scrutiny from opposition members of parliament.
In October 2007, for example, Badir Mishari al-Humaidhi resigned after one week following sustained pressure from MPs from Kuwait's Islamist opposition, who accused him of mismanagement during his tenure as finance minister in 1999.
Sheikh Ahmed's appointment comes as parliament prepares to debate a financial rescue package worth 5 billion US dollars on Tuesday.
Kuwait's central bankers hope the package, whereby Kuwait will guarantee 50 per cent of bank loans to Kuwaiti businesses, will mitigate the effects of the global credit crisis on Kuwaiti businesses struggling to find lenders.
Opposition lawmakers say they want the government to buy up the debts of private citizens as well. The government has dismissed the idea.