Country Listing

Kuwait Table of Contents



Government: 1962 constitution specifies "hereditary amirate" and fixes succession among male "descendants of the late Mubarak Al Sabah." Ruler in 1994 was Jabir al Ahmad al Jabir Al Sabah, who became amir in 1977. Sixty-member (fifty elected, ten appointed) National Assembly created in 1963, suspended from 1976 to 1980 and again in 1986; replaced in 1990 with partially elected National Council. National Assembly reconstituted by October 1992 elections. Opposition and independent candidates-- including some nineteen Islamists--won thirty to thirty-five seats.

Politics: Al Sabah family dominates political events, but several prominent merchant families also powerful. Opposition, independent, and Islamist elements becoming stronger in early 1990s. Political parties illegal.

Foreign Relations: As result of Iraqi invasion of August 2, 1990, and 1991 Persian Gulf War, Kuwait's relations with the West and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, particularly Saudi Arabia, strengthened to prevent future Iraqi incursion. In addition to GCC, Kuwait belonged to more than twenty international organizations, including United Nations, League of Arab States, Nonaligned Movement, Organization of the Islamic Conference, and Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Data as of January 1993