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Kuwait Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: State of Kuwait
    conventional short form: Kuwait
    local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt
    local short form: Al Kuwayt

    Data code: KU

    Government type: nominal constitutional monarchy

    Capital: Kuwait

    Administrative divisions: 5 governorates (muhafazat, singular—muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al Farwaniyah, Al 'Asimah, Al Jahra', Hawalli

    Independence: 19 June 1961 (from UK)

    National holiday: National Day, 25 February (1950)

    Constitution: approved and promulgated 11 November 1962

    Legal system: civil law system with Islamic law significant in personal matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage: adult males who have been naturalized for 30 years or more or have resided in Kuwait since before 1920 and their male descendants at age 21
    note: only 10% of all citizens are eligible to vote; in 1996, naturalized citizens who do not meet the pre-1920 qualification but have been naturalized for 30 years were eligible to vote for the first time

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Amir JABIR al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah (since 31 December 1977)
    head of government: Prime Minister and Crown Prince SAAD al-Abdallah al-Salim Al Sabah (since 8 February 1978); First Deputy Prime Minister SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah (since 17 October 1992); Second Deputy Prime Minister SALIM al-Sabah al-Salim Al Sabah (since 7 October 1996)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister and approved by the monarch
    elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the monarch

    Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (50 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held 7 October 1996 (next to be held approximately October 2000)
    election results: percent of vote—NA; seats—independents 50; note—all cabinet ministers are also ex officio members of the National Assembly

    Judicial branch: High Court of Appeal

    Political parties and leaders: none

    Political pressure groups and leaders: several political groups act as de facto parties: Bedouins, merchants, Sunni and Shi'a activists, and secular leftists and nationalists

    International organization participation: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador MUHAMMAD al-Sabah al-Salim Al SABAH
    chancery: 2940 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 966-0702
    FAX: [1] (202) 966-0517

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador James A. LAROCCO
    embassy: Bayan, near the Bayan palace, Kuwait City
    mailing address: P.O. Box 77 Safat, 13001 Safat, Kuwait; Unit 69000, APO AE 09880-9000
    telephone: [965] 539-5307 or 539-5308
    FAX: [965] 538-0282

    Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red with a black trapezoid based on the hoist side

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)