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Kuwait swears in its fourth government in two years

In this photo released by Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, right, receives Prime Minister, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah, in Kuwait, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. ( KUNA via AP)
In this photo released by Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, right, receives Prime Minister, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah, in Kuwait, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. ( KUNA via AP)

A new Kuwaiti government is sworn in, the oil-rich Gulf emirate’s fourth in two years, after the last one resigned in November amid political deadlock.

Kuwait has been shaken by disputes between elected lawmakers and successive governments dominated by the ruling Al-Sabah family for more than a decade, with parliaments and cabinets dissolved several times. The last government called it quits in November in the face of a standoff with parliament over reforms.

The cabinet was sworn in before the crown prince, the official KUNA news agency reports. It is the fourth government that Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah has formed since his appointment as prime minister in December 2019.

Kuwait is the only Gulf Arab state with a fully elected parliament, which enjoys wide legislative powers and can vote ministers out of office.

Like most Gulf countries, Kuwait’s economy and public finances have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the slumping price of oil. In recent years there have been mounting calls for reform in Kuwait, where expatriate residents make up 70 percent of the 4.8 million population.

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