KUWAIT: The new Cabinet lineup is almost ready to be unveiled today, said informed sources, noting that the announcement might be delayed until evening over some portfolios. They added the Cabinet ministers will have to swear in before HH the Amir prior to his departure to Turkey on Tuesday to take part in an Islamic summit to condemn US President Donald Trump’s decision on Jerusalem.

The sources said the new formation will exclude Defense Minister Sheikh Mohammed Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, who has been threatened with a grilling if he returns to office. The sources noted that the premier preferred to exclude Sheikh Mohammed Al-Khaled, who demanded returning to the interior ministry and nowhere else, while the PM insisted on retaining him as his performance is favored by a majority of MPs.

The sources said that it was agreed to appoint Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah as defense minister as requested by him, adding Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah willingly renounced the title of first deputy PM to him in respect for his age and settled for the title of deputy PM and foreign minister. The sources stressed that Sheikh Mohammed Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah was nominated as foreign minister, but a last-minute decision excluded him to appease MPs, who believed his retention is provocative to them, especially after over 30 lawmakers had opposed him. The sources said Sheikh Mohammed Al-Abdullah will be appointed as minister of the Amiri Diwan

They said Health Minister Dr Jamal Al-Harbi will remain in office, although all indicators suggest he will be replaced by Dr Fahd Al-Ibrahim. The sources revealed that Housing Minister Yasser Abul rejected all attempts to convince him to remain in office and insisted on quitting to take care of his family business, adding he will be replaced by Ali Al-Moussa.

The sources said former MP Adel Al-Kharafi will be appointed as minister of public works and minister of state for National Assembly affairs despite Salafists’ insistence to keep the current minister Abdulrahman Al-Mutawa in office. The sources also noted that Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh will be appointed deputy PM and minister of state for Cabinet affairs and will be replaced by Nayef Al-Hajraf.

The sources said Minister of Justice and Awqaf Mohammed Al-Jabri will remain in office, and that Kuwait’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sheikh Thamer Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah agreed to be appointed minister of information. The sources said despite his good performance, Oil Minister Essam Al-Marzouq will be excluded to avoid parliamentary threats to be grilled, and might be replaced by Hussein Ismael. Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and Planning Hind Al-Sabeeh will remain in office, while Education Minister Mohammad Al-Fares will be replaced by Hamed Al-Azmi, the sources concluded.

By A Saleh