What Type Of Government Does Kuwait Have?

The flag of Kuwait.
The flag of Kuwait.

Government Of Kuwait

The government of Kuwait is carried out under a semi-democratic framework and incorporates both a Constitution and hereditary monarchy. The monarch of Kuwait is known as an Emir. The Constitution of this country establishes a separation of governmental powers by defining 3 branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. This article takes a closer look at each one.

Executive Branch Of The Government Of Kuwait

The executive branch is made up of the Emir, Prime Minister, and Cabinet of Ministers.

As regulated by the Constitution of 1961, the Emir is responsible for appointing the Prime Minister and for recommending the Crown Prince. The Crown Prince is voted on by the legislative branch, the National Assembly, based on this recommendation. If the Crown Prince is agreed upon, the Emir must submit a list of 3 other individuals from the royal family for consideration. The Crown Prince assumes the position of Emir upon their death.

The Prime Minister of Kuwait, a member of the family of the Emir, is charged with forming a Cabinet of Ministers. The Cabinet must be approved by the National Assembly before taking office. The person in this position is responsible for ensuring that the Ministers of the Cabinet carry out the regulations, policies, and legislation set forth by the National Assembly.

Some of the various ministries here include: Defense, Health, Education, Commerce and Industry, Oil, and Commerce and Industry.

Legislative Branch Of The Government Of Kuwait

The legislative branch of government consists of the National Assembly, an unicameral legislative body.

The National Assembly has 50 members, who are elected by the general population to serve a term of 4 years. The country is divided into 5 electoral districts, with 10 representatives selected from each district. Each term, up to 15 individuals may be appointed by the government. Candidates do not campaign based on political parties and after taking office, members form parliamentary blocs.

In addition to drafting and approving legislative bills, National Assembly members also have the power to remove Ministers from the Cabinet. Once a bill is negotiated and approved, it moves on to the Emir to be signed into law. If the Emir exercises veto power, the bill returns to the National Assembly where it may be passed with a two-thirds vote. The National Assembly of Kuwait is considered one of the most independent and strongest of the Arab world.

Judicial Branch Of The Government Of Kuwait

The judicial branch of government of this country works independently of the executive and legislative branches. The judiciary system is based on a civil law system and Sharia law is used to decide certain cases. Kuwait is politically divided into 6 governorates; each one has a summary court, which acts as a court of first instance. These courts hear cases concerning civil, personal, commercial, and penal issues. If a case is a misdemeanor with a sentence of less than 3 years of prison time or less than 250 Kuwait dinars, it cannot be appealed to a higher court. Appeals are seen by the 3-judge panel that makes up the Court of Appeals. The highest courts in the judicial system are the Constitutional Court and the Cassation Court. The Cassation Court, similar to a Supreme Court, acts as the final court of appeals. The Constitutional Court hears cases concerning the constitutional legality of legislation and regulations.


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