Sheikha Al-Zain declined offer as premier eyed four female ministers in new Cabinet

Next week meeting sets jurisdiction over govt authorities

Sheikha Al-Zain Al-Sabah

KUWAIT: Sheikha Al-Zain Al-Sabah, the former undersecretary of the Ministry of Youth Affairs, was summoned to Seif Palace Monday where she met His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, said high-ranking ministerial sources, noting that the Prime Minister offered her a portfolio in the new Cabinet. But in view of her hesitation, the premier gave her time until yesterday morning to give her answer, when she reportedly declined the offer. The sources noted His Highness the Prime Minister wanted to include four female ministers in his first Cabinet but eventually ended up with three. Sheikha Al-Zain Al-Sabah had resigned from her post as undersecretary of the youth affairs ministry in September 3, 2018, saying that it was time after five years of service at the ministry to hand over the duties to her colleagues “to continue our march towards future development.” She has not assumed any government positions since then.

Meanwhile, Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of State for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel expressed her appreciation on the trust of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah for reappointing her as a minister in the new Cabinet. Speaking in a press release issued after the Amiri decree on the new Cabinet formation, Aqeel stressed that the coming phase requires more cooperation and joint efforts amongst development partners in the public and private sectors as well as NGOs and lawmakers with the goal of enhancing the development process and achieving HH the Amir’s vision of a new Kuwait by 2035. Aqeel also stressed the need to resume tending to issues of interest for citizens such as the economy and efforts to diversify it as a main pillar of development.

Public authorities
Meanwhile, well-informed sources said the new Cabinet members will allocate part of their weekly meeting next Monday to name the public bodies and authorities to be supervised by each minister. The sources added that the ministers met yesterday after swearing in before His Highness the Amir. “Their meeting was dedicated to introductions, setting the government’s future plans and stressing the need for ministers’ cooperation to achieve the plan,” said the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The sources said that the Civil Service Commission (CSC), which is usually headed by the prime minister, will be supervised by Minister of Interior and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh, while the Environment Public Authority (EPA) will be supervised by either Health Minister Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah or Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah.
“The Public Authority for Manpower will remain under the supervision of minister Mariam Al-Aqeel, Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources will remain supervised by Information Minister and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Mohammad Al-Jabri, who as a former municipality minister had supervised PAAAFR,” the sources explained, adding that the Public Authority for Food and Nutrition will be supervised by the health minister, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the former communication ministry bodies will be supervised by Minister of State for Services Mubarak Al-Harees, and Kuwait Airways by Aqeel.

“The minors’ authority will remain within the jurisdiction of Justice Minister Fahd Al-Afasi, who will also supervise the awqaf secretariat general and the Quran authority as minister of awqaf,” the sources revealed, noting that the disabled authority will be supervised by Minster of Social Affairs Ghadeer Aseeri.

By A Saleh

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