Crown Prince Saad al Abdullah al Sabah maintained the ruling family's grip on power Saturday, naming a new Cabinet that includes Sabahs in all of the powerful positions and cuts out the democratic opposition, which refused to join the government.

The former defense and interior ministers, popularly blamed for presiding over Kuwait's collapse to the Iraqi invaders, gained new positions in the Cabinet, while some of Kuwait's best-known officials, including the foreign minister, Sheik Sabah al Ahmed al Sabah, and the onetime finance and oil minister, Sheik Ali al Khalifa al Sabah, were axed from the government.Opposition leaders bitterly criticized the crown prince for failing to make concessions that would have opened the way for participation of a broad political spectrum in the Cabinet and predicted that the new government would be short-lived.

"I think this coming government will fall in about three months' time, because the people will not accept it," said Ahmed Bakr, an Islamic opposition leader and member of Kuwait's dissolved Parliament.

Five of the 21 Cabinet seats are held by Sabahs, who formerly held seven seats but who maintain their control of the foreign affairs, defense, interior and social affairs ministries, in addition to the crown prince's role as prime minister.