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Kuwaiti oil minister takes office despite opposition

Kuwait's new Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Sabah took the oath of office in parliament in the face of objections from several opposition lawmakers.

world Updated: Feb 10, 2009 15:30 IST

Kuwait's new Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Sabah took the oath of office in parliament on Tuesday in the face of objections from several opposition lawmakers.

MPs objected to his appointment on the grounds that he had been questioned in parliament and faced a no confidence motion when he was health minister in 2007, saying they suspected it could violate the constitution.

Sheikh Ahmad, a former finance, communications and health minister, had been sworn in by the Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah yesterday to become Kuwait's fifth oil minister in three years.

Kuwait OPEC's fourth largest producer has been without a permanent oil minister since the new cabinet was unveiled in January, with Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah holding the post on an interim basis.

The Gulf state has been plunged in a series of political crises in the past three years, during which parliament was dissolved twice, most recently in March, and five governments were formed.

Strained relations between the government and parliament in the past few years have been blamed for stalling development projects despite a huge windfall from oil revenues.

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