KUWAIT, March 5 (Reuters) – Kuwait’s crown prince re-appointed Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf al-Sabah as prime minister and asked him to nominate a cabinet, state news agency KUNA reported on Sunday, more than a month after the government resigned due to renewed friction with parliament.
A long-running standoff between the government and the elected parliament has hampered efforts by the wealthy Gulf Arab oil producer to push through fiscal reforms, including a debt law allowing Kuwait to tap international markets.
Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who has taken over most of the ruling emir’s duties, moved last year to end feuding by naming Sheikh Ahmad as premier, dissolving parliament and calling early polls, in which opposition members made gains.
Tensions resurfaced when lawmakers pressed the government sworn in last October for a debt relief bill, under which the state would buy Kuwaiti citizens’ personal loans, and sought to question two ministers, prompting the government to resign in January.
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Kuwait bans political parties but has given its legislature more influence than similar bodies in other Gulf monarchies.
While Kuwait has strong fiscal and external balance sheets, frequent political bickering and institutional gridlock have hampered investment and reforms aimed at reducing its heavy reliance on oil revenues.
Reporting by Mahmoud Mourad; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise
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