National Assembly (Kuwait)

Last updated
National Assembly of Kuwait

مجلس الأمة الكويتي

Majlis al-ʾUmma al-Kuwaytiyy
15th Legislative Session
Emblem of Kuwait.svg
Coat of Arms of the State of Kuwait
Type
Type
Term limits
None
History
New session started
December 11, 2016 (2016-12-11)
Leadership
Marzouq Ali al-Ghanim
since December 11, 2016
Essa Ahmad al-Kandari
since December 11, 2016
Secretary
Ouda Ouda al-Ruwai'e
since December 11, 2016
Controller
Nayef Abdulaziz al-Ajmi
since December 11, 2016
Structure
Seats50 elected members
Up to 15 appointed members
National Assembly (Kuwait) Dec 2017.svg
Political groups
Length of term
Four years
Elections
Single non-transferable vote
Last election
November 26, 2016
Next election
November 26, 2020
Meeting place
Utzon Kuwait National Assembly.jpg
Building of the National Assembly of Kuwait
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Website
kna.kw
Emblem of Kuwait.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Kuwait

The National Assembly (Arabic : مجلس الأمة), is the unicameral legislature of Kuwait. The National Assembly meets in Kuwait City. Members are chosen through direct election; the country is divided into five electoral districts with ten members representing each district. There are no official political parties in Kuwait, therefore candidates run as independents during elections; upon winning, members usually form informal parliamentary blocs. The National Assembly is made up of 50 elected members as well as up to 15 appointed government ministers who are ex officio members. On October 16, 2016, the Amir of Kuwait issued a decree dissolving the National Assembly citing security challenges, [1] paving the way for early elections, which were held on November 26, 2016.

In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house.

A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments; in the separation of powers model, they are often contrasted with the executive and judicial branches of government.

Kuwait Country in Western Asia

Kuwait, officially the State of Kuwait, is a country in Western Asia. Situated in the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, it shares borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia. As of 2016, Kuwait has a population of 4.5 million people: 1.3 million are Kuwaitis and 3.2 million are expatriates. Expatriates account for 70% of the population.

Contents

Overview

The National Assembly is the legislature in Kuwait. [2] The National Assembly has the power to remove government ministers from their post. MPs frequently exercise their constitutional right to interpellate government members. The National Assembly's interpellation sessions of ministers are aired on Kuwaiti TV. MPs also have the right to interpellate the prime minister, and then table a motion of non-cooperation with the government, in which case the cabinet must get replaced.

The National Assembly can have up to 50 MPs. Fifty deputies are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. Members of the cabinet also sit in the parliament as deputies. The constitution limits the size of the cabinet to 16, and at least one member of the cabinet must be an elected MP. The cabinet ministers have the same rights as the elected MPs, with the following two exceptions: they do not participate in the work of committees, and they cannot vote when an interpolation leads to a no-confidence vote against one of the cabinet members.

The National Assembly is the main legislative power in Kuwait. The Emir can veto laws but the National Assembly can override his veto by a two-third vote. The National Assembly (per article 4 of the Constitution) has the constitutional right to approve and disapprove of an Emir's appointment. The National Assembly effectively removed Saad al-Sabah from his post in 2006 because of Saad's inability to rule due to illness. Kuwait's National Assembly is the most independent parliament in the Arab world; [3] it is among the strongest parliaments in the Middle East. [4]

The separation of powers is a model for the governance of a state. Under this model, a state's government is divided into branches, each with separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with the powers associated with the other branches. The typical division is into three branches: a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary, which is the trias politica model. It can be contrasted with the fusion of powers in some parliamentary systems where the executive and legislative branches overlap.

Dissolutions

The Constitutional Court has the authority to dissolve the house and must subsequently call for new elections within two months. The Constitutional Court is widely believed to be one of the most judicially independent courts in the Arab world. [5] The Emir also has the authority to dissolve the house and must subsequently call for new elections within two months. The Constitutional Court can invalidate the Emir's decree dissolving the parliament.

In parliamentary and some semi-presidential systems, a dissolution of parliament is the dispersal of a legislature at the call of an election.

Arab world Geographic and cultural region in Africa and the Middle East

The Arab world, also known as the Arab nation, the Arabsphere or the Arab states, currently consists of the 22 Arab countries of the Arab League. These Arab states occupy North Africa and West Asia; an area stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast. The contemporary Arab world has a combined population of around 422 million inhabitants, over half of whom are under 25 years of age.

Building

The parliament building was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, who also designed Sydney Opera House.

Jørn Utzon Danish architect

Jørn Oberg Utzon,, Hon. FAIA was a Danish architect, most notable for designing the Sydney Opera House in Australia. When it was declared a World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007, Utzon became only the second person to have received such recognition for one of his works during his lifetime, after Oscar Niemeyer. Other noteworthy works include Bagsværd Church near Copenhagen and the National Assembly Building in Kuwait. He also made important contributions to housing design, especially with his Kingo Houses near Helsingør.

Sydney Opera House multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre at Sydney Harbour in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is one of the 20th century's most famous and distinctive buildings.

Political fractions

While political parties are not legally recognized in Kuwait, a number of political factions exist. The house is composed of different political factions in addition to independents:

Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support limited government, individual rights, capitalism, democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion.

Populism political orientation or standpoint

Populism is a range of political approaches that deliberately appeal to "the people", often juxtaposing this group against the elite. There is no single definition of the term, which developed in the 19th century and has been used to mean various things since that time. Few politicians or political groups describe themselves as "populist" and in political discourse the term is often applied to others pejoratively. Within political science and other social sciences, various different definitions of populism have been used, although some scholars propose rejecting the term altogether.

Popular Action Bloc

The Popular Action Bloc is a political bloc in Kuwait headed by veteran former Speaker Ahmed Al-Sadoun. The group focuses on populist issues like housing, salary raises, and reform. The party's leader is Ahmed Al-Sadoun.

See also

Related Research Articles

Government of Kuwait

Kuwait is a constitutional emirate with a semi-democratic political system. The hybrid political system is divided between an elected parliament and appointed government.

Politics of Bahrain

Politics of Bahrain takes place since 2002 in a framework of a constitutional monarchy where the government is appointed by the King of Bahrain, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The head of the government since 1971 is Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and the Crown Prince is Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who serves as Commander of the Bahrain Defence Force. The parliament is a bi-cameral legislature, with the Chamber of Deputies elected by universal suffrage, and the Shura Council appointed directly by the king. MP Khalifa Al Dhahrani is the Speaker of Parliament.

Emir of Kuwait Wikimedia list article

The Emir of the State of Kuwait is the monarch and head of state of Kuwait. It is the most powerful position in the country. The emirs of Kuwait are members of the Al-Sabah dynasty, which originate from the Bani Utbah; a federation of clans in the Arabian Peninsula.

Elections in Bahrain

The National Assembly is bicameral with the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, having 40 members elected in single-seat constituencies for a four-year term. The upper house, the Shura Council, has 40 members appointed by the King of Bahrain, with the stated aim of giving a voice to minority communities and technocratic experts within the legislative process. Supporters of the system refer to long established democracies the United Kingdom and Canada operating with this bicameralism with an appointed upper chamber and an elected lower chamber. Opponents of this system point out that unlike the bicameral systems in the UK and Canada, the Bahraini system gives the unelected upper house equal or more legislative power than the elected lower house, allowing the King to control all legislation. Opponents also point out that the current system was imposed unilaterally by the King, violating the 1973 Constitution and a 2001 signed agreement with the Bahraini opposition.

Elections in Kuwait

Elections in Kuwait are held for both the National Assembly and for the Municipality. Kuwait's constitution calls for elections to the unicameral National Assembly at a maximum interval of four years. Elections are held earlier if the Constitutional Court or Emir dissolve the parliament.

National Assembly (Bulgaria) parliament of Bulgaria

The National Assembly is the unicameral parliament and legislative body of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Nasser Al-Sabah Prime Minister of Kuwait

Nasser Mohammed Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah is a Kuwaiti politician who served as Prime Minister of Kuwait from 7 February 2006 until resigning on 28 November 2011. He is the first prime minister to date that never became ruler or even crown prince.

2008 Kuwaiti general election

An early parliamentary election was held in Kuwait on 17 May 2008 after the Emir Sabah Al-Sabah dissolved the National Assembly of Kuwait on 19 March 2008 over constant clashes between the government and the elected MPs. The last elections were held less than two years previously and saw a loose alliance of reformists and Islamists gain almost two thirds of the seats.

Politics of Kuwait

Kuwait is a constitutional emirate with a semi-democratic political system. The hybrid political system is divided between an elected parliament and appointed government.

Musallam Al-Barrak is a Kuwaiti politician. He was a member of the Kuwaiti National Assembly, representing the fourth district.

Nasser Al-Sane is a member of the Kuwaiti National Assembly, representing the third district. Born in 1955, Al-Sane obtained a PhD in Business Administration before being elected to the National Assembly in 1992. While political parties are illegal in Kuwait, Al-Sane affiliates with the Islamist Hadas party.

Waleed Al-Tabatabaie was a member of the Kuwaiti National Assembly, who represented the third district. Born on 4 April 1964, Al-Tabtabaie obtained a PhD in Islamic studies from Al-Azhar and was an assistant professor at Kuwait University before being elected to the National Assembly in 1996. Al-Tabtabaie affiliated with the Islamist deputies.

Kuwait National Assembly No-Confidence Votes

Kuwait National Assembly No-Confidence Votes

2009 Kuwaiti general election

An early parliamentary election was held in Kuwait on 16 May 2009, the country's third in a three-year period. Kuwait had voted on six occasions between 1991 and 2009. The turnout rate was 50%. The election was notable in that four women were elected for the first time since Kuwait gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961.

The Kuwaiti protests refers to the series of 2011–12 demonstrations for government reforms in the state of Kuwait. In November 2011, the government of Kuwait resigned in response to the protests, making Kuwait one of several countries affected by the Arab Spring to experience major governmental changes due to unrest. The protests began with stateless people (Bedoon).

February 2012 Kuwaiti general election

Early general elections were held in Kuwait on 2 February 2012, the country's second general election in a three-year period. The election's turnout rate was 59%. However, in June 2012 Kuwait's Constitutional Court declared the elections invalid and reinstated the former parliament. The court said the dissolution of Parliament in December 2011 by Emir Sabah Al-Sabah was unconstitutional. In response, opposition MPs resigned from parliament and demanded a full parliamentary system.

Following the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt became one of the main forces contending for political power in Egypt against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and other established centers of the former Hosni Mubarak regime.

2013 Kuwaiti general election

Early general elections were held in Kuwait on 27 July 2013. The elections were required after the Constitutional Court dissolved Parliament and annulled the results of the December 2012 elections. Voter turnout was an estimated 52.5%, which was higher than expected despite an opposition boycott, and only 7% lower than the non-boycotted February 2012 elections.

Aseel al-Awadhi former Kuwait MP

Aseel al-Awadhi is a former member of the National Assembly of Kuwait. She was a professor of philosophy at Kuwait University before moving into politics. Al-Awadhi first stood for a seat on the National Assembly in 2008, losing the election but gaining the highest number of votes for a female candidate since women were allowed to stand. She was elected representative of Kuwait's Third District in 2009; a post that she held until 2012.

General elections were held in Morocco on 7 October 2016. The ruling Justice and Development Party remained the largest party, winning 125 of the 395 seats in the House of Representatives, a gain of 18 seats compared to the 2011 elections.

References

  1. Hussain Al-Qatari & Jon Gambrell (October 16, 2016). "Kuwaiti cabinet resigns, parliament dissolves". Associated Press News. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  2. Robert F. Worth (2008). "In Democracy Kuwait Trusts, but Not Much". New York Times .
  3. Nathan J. Brown. "Mechanisms of accountability in Arab governance: The present and future of judiciaries and parliaments in the Arab world" (PDF). pp. 16–18.
  4. Eran Segal. "Kuwait Parliamentary Elections: Women Making History" (PDF). Tel Aviv Notes. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-01-04.
  5. "Kuwait court ruling may threaten economic recovery". Reuters. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013.