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Kuwait Government
Country name:
conventional long form: State of Kuwait
conventional short form: Kuwait
local short form: Al Kuwayt
local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt
Government type:
nominal constitutional monarchy
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 SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah (since 13 July 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister NAWWAF al-Ahmad Al Sabah (since 2003); Deputy Prime Ministers JABIR MUBARAK al-Hamad Al Sabah (since 2001) and Muhammad Dayfallah al-SHARAR (since 2003)
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 6 July 2003 (next to be held NA 2007)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats - Islamists 21, government supporters 14, liberals 3, and independents 12; note - all cabinet ministers are also ex officio members of the National Assembly
Judicial branch:
High Court of Appeal
Political parties and leaders:
none; formation of political parties is illegal
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, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, LAS, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNITAR, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Sheikh SALIM al-Abdallah Jabir Al Sabah
FAX: [1] (202) 966-0517
telephone: [1] (202) 966-0702
chancery: 2940 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard H. JONES
embassy: Bayan, Area 14, Al-Masjed Al-Aqsa Street (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, ext. 2240
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; design, which dates to 1961, based on the arab revolt flag of world war i
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