Country Governance

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POGAR > Countries > Kuwait In Brief

Basic Information

Country Flag:
Country Map: United Nations Maps: Kuwait
Country Name: State of Kuwait (Dawlat al Kuwayt)
Name of Capital City: Kuwait City (Madinat al-Kuwayt)
Date of Independence: Gained independence from Britain on June 19, 1961.

Administrative Divisions

Regions, Provinces or Governorates: 6 governorates (muhafazat): Al Ahmadi, Al Farwaniyah, Al 'Asimah, Al Jahra', Hawalli and Mubarak Al-Kabeer.
Country Area (sq km): 17818
Population (million): 2.9 (2007)
Population, annual growth rate (%) 1975-2005: 3.3
Population, estimated growth rate (%) 2005-2015: 2.2

Political System

Type of State: Constitutional monarchy/unitary
Date of Constitution: Approved and promulgated on November 11, 1962.

Head of State

Type: The head of state is the Emir.
Name of Current: Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah became the new Emir of Kuwait on January 29, 2006. He succeeded Sheikh Jabir Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah who died on January 15, 2006.
The Crown Prince, Sheikh Sa'ad Al-Abdullah Assalem Al-Sabah, who was entitled to be the next Emir, was relieved of his position on January 24, 2006, by a unanimous vote in parliament on the basis of his poor health and inability to carry out his constitutional jurisdiction. Sheikh Nawwaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah became Crown Prince on February 7. 2006.

Executive Branch

About: The Emir appoints the Prime Minister and also appoints and dismisses other ministers in consultation with the Prime Minister.
Name of Current: The Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah asked former Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to form a new government on May 20, 2009.

Legislative Branch

Type: Unicameral National Assembly



Suffrage: Kuwaiti males over the age of 21 who have been naturalized for at least 30 years may vote.
- See Also: Kuwait - Election Calendar and Results

Human Development Indicators

Human development index (HDI): 0.771 (2010)
HDI rank (worldwide): 47 (2010)
Adult literacy rate (% aged 15 and older): 94.5 (2007)
Female secondary gross enrollment (%): 91.5 (2007)
Gross enrollment, tertiary level education (%): 17.6 (2006)
Life expectancy at birth (years): 12.514 (2010)
Poverty index (HP1-1) value (%): N/A
GDP per capita (PPP US$): 55718.612 (2010)
GDP per capita (PPP US$) rank minus HDI rank: -42 (2010)
* See more human development indicators on Arab Statistics (external link)

Judiciary Branch

Legal system and codification: Amalgam of British common law, French civil law, Islamic legal principles, and Egyptian law.
Administration: The judiciary is administered by the Judicial Council, which consists of the President and Deputy of the Court of Cassation, the President and Deputy of the Court of Appeal, the Attorney General, the President of the Al-Kulliyya Court, and the Deputy of the Ministry of Justice.
Supreme Court: The Courts of First Instance are subdivided into administrative units with specialized jurisdiction. There is also a Court of Appeals and a Court of Cassation, organized into Commercial, Civil, and Criminal Boards.
Constitutional Court: The Constitutional Council, established in 1973, may interpret the constitutionality of laws, decree laws, and by-laws. In addition, this Court is empowered to review electoral disputes.
Shari'a or Personal Status:

Membership in International Organizations

United Nations (UN): May 14, 1963
International Monetary Fund (IMF): September 13, 1962
World Trade Organization (WTO): January 1, 1995
Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC): September 8, 2000; not ratified.
World Bank – International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD): September 13, 1962
World Bank – International Finance Corporation (IFC): September 13, 1962
World Bank – Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA): April 12, 1988
World Bank – International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID): March 4. 1979

Ratification of International Conventions

- Human Rights Conventions
- International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions
- UN Conventions against Corruption and Transnational Organized Crime
- Environment Treaties