Parliament of Kuwait

National Assembly
11th Session
Type
Type Unicameral
History
Founded 1963
Leadership
Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim
Seats 50
Elections
Last election July, 2013
Meeting place
Kuwait City
Kuwait
Website
http://www.kna.kw/

The National Assembly, known as the Majlis Al-Umma ("House of the Nation") (Arabic: مجلس الأمة‎), is the legislature of Kuwait. The current speaker of the house is Ali Al-Rashed. The Constitutional Court constitutionally dissolved the house in June 2013, subsequently issuing a decree for new elections. The Emir unconstitutionally dissolved the house in 1986 and restored it after the Gulf War in 1992. The Emir has also constitutionally dissolved the house several times, meaning that he dissolved it and called for new elections immediately afterward.

Until 2005, suffrage was limited to male Kuwaiti citizens above the age of 21 whose ancestors had resided in Kuwait since 1920, and adult males who have been naturalized citizens for at least 20 years. On May 16, 2005, the house passed a law in support of women's suffrage, allowing women to vote and run for office.

The fifty-seat house is elected every four years. Currently there are five geographically distributed electoral districts. Every eligible citizen is entitled to four votes, though one may choose to only cast one vote. The ten candidates with the most votes in each district win seats. Cabinet ministers (including the prime minister) are granted automatic membership in the Assembly, which increases the number of members in the house from fifty to sixty-six. 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.[1]

Building

Main article: Kuwait National Assembly Building

The parliament building was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, who also designed Sydney Opera House.[2]

Dissolutions

The Constitutional Court and Emir of Kuwait both have the authority to dissolve the house and must subsequently call for new elections within two months. The Constitutional Court has constitutionally dissolved the house, most recently in 2013. The Emir has done so on five separate occasions. On two of those, the house was dissolved unconstitutionally, since no new elections were held within the legally required period, and the Emir of Kuwait then ruled by decree. The first case was from 1976 until 1981, and the second one from 1986 until 1992. On the tree other occasions, the Emir dissolved the house and new elections were held immediately afterward. This happened in 1999, in 2006, and most recently in December 2011 .[3] The 2006 dissolution was brought by what is locally known as the Kuwaiti Orange Movement, when Kuwaitis held mass protests and demonstrations to demand that electoral districts be reduced in number from twenty-five to five.

List of members

District Name Affiliation Prior experience Education Assumed office Born in
First Abdullah Al-Roumi Independent (Liberal) Lawyer Law 1985 1949
First Adnan Zahid Abdulsamad National Islamic Alliance Oil Ministry Political Science 1981 1950
First Faisal Duwaisan Unaffiliated High School Diploma 2009 1964
First Hassan Jawhar Unaffiliated Professor at Kuwait University PhD in Political Science 1996 1960
First Hussain Al-Qallaf Al-Bahrani Unaffiliated Kuwait University 1996 1958
First Hussein Nasser Al-Huraiti Independent (close to government) Judge, Lawyer Law 2006 1962
First Masuma Al-Mubarak Liberal Professor, Kuwait University Poli Sci PhD, University of Denver 2009 1952
First Mikhled Al-Azmi Islamist Municipal Council Geography 1996 1961
First Saleh Ashour Justice and Peace Alliance Kuwait Air Force Economics 1999 1952
First Yusif Al-Zalzala Unaffiliated Dean, Kuwait University PhD in Statistics, Colorado State University 2003 1959
Second Abdul Rahman Al-Anjari Liberal BA, Business Administration 2009 1957
Second Adnan Al-Mutawa Unaffiliated Engineering 2009 1954
Second Ali Al-Rashid National Democratic Alliance Lawyer JD, International Arab University 2003 1967
Second Jamaan Al-Harbash Hadas Professor PhD in Islamic Ideology 2006 1970
Second Jassem Al-Kharafi Independent (liberal) Director of Al-Kharafi Group Business Administration, Manchester Trade Faculty 1975 1940
Second Khalaf Dmaithir Conservative 2009 1946
Second Khaled AlـSultan Bin Essa Islamic Salafi Alliance Chairman of Kuwait Graduates Society 2008 1940
Second Marzouq Al-Ghanim Independent (liberal/businessman) Petrochemicals Mechanical Engineering 2008 1968
Second Mohammed AlـMutair Sunni Investment Company Business 2003 1969
Second Salwa al-Jassar Independent Professor of Education, Kuwait University MA and PhD in Education, University of Pittsburgh 2009 1957
Third Aseel Al-Awadi Liberal Municipal Professor, Kuwait University 2009 1969
Third Adel Al-Saraawi Independent Office for Assessment of Iraq Invasion Damage Accounting 2003 1962
Third Ahmed Al-Sadoun Popular Action Bloc Literature 1975 1934
Third Ali Al-Omair Islamic Salafi Alliance Professor PhD in Chemistry 2006 1958
Third Faisal Al-Muslim Al-Otaib Independent Professor MA in Political History, University of Wales 2003 1962
Third Naji Abdalhadi Independent Engineer 1992 1955
Third Rola Dashti Liberal PhD in Population Economics, Johns Hopkins 2009 1964
Third Roudhan Al-Roudhan Conservative Diploma of Institute of Applied Sciences and Tech 2009 1961
Third Saleh Al-Mulla Liberal Diplomat BA in Business, Kuwait University 2008 1971
Third Waleed AlـTabtabaie Islamist Professor, Kuwait University PhD in Islamic Studies, Al-Azhar 1996 1964
Fourth Ali Al-Daqbaashi Islamist (close to government) Management 2003 1965
Fourth Askar Al-Enezi 2008
Fourth Daifallah Bouramiya Independent Doctor MA in Public Health 2003 1957
Fourth Hussein Mazyid Al-Mutairi Islamist 2009 1955
Fourth Mohammed Hayef AlـMutairi Kuwait Municipality Islamic Studies 2008 1964
Fourth Mubarak Al-Khirinj Independent 2009 1948
Fourth Mubarak Al-Waalan Independent Political Science 2009 1959
Fourth Musallam AlـBarrak Popular Action Bloc Municipal Council Arabic literature 1996 1956
Fourth Saad AlـKhanfour Al-Rasheedi Independent Interior Ministry 2008 1965
Fourth Shuaib Al-Muaizri Conservative Police 2009 1959
Fifth Alsaifi Al-Ajmi Independent 2009 1961
Fifth Badi Al-Dusari Independent PhD, Sports Administration 2009 1963
Fifth Dlaihi Al-Hajiri Independent High School diploma 2009 1958
Fifth Falah Al-Azmi Independent High School diploma 2008 1961
Fifth Ghanem Al-Mai Independent Ministry of Education Literature 2003 1958
Fifth Khalid Al-Tahus Independent Engineering 2009 1974
Fifth Mohammed AlـHuwaila Al-Ajmi Independent Professor PhD in Management, Yarmouk University 2008 1971
Fifth Saad Znaifir Al-Azmi Independent 2009 1950
Fifth Sadoon Al-Otaibi Independent 2008 1959
Fifth Salim Al-Azmi Independent MA, Law 2009 1967

Sources: 2008 Election Results

Political factions

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

  • The liberal, secular bloc: Ten members were elected in the 2013 elections, making them the largest political bloc in the current parliament.
  • The Shaabi (populist) bloc: A coalition of populists (Sunni and Shia), liberals and nationalist parties with a focus on middle-class issues. In 2006 national elections, they won around 10 seats of the parliament. The Popular Action Bloc is their main political party.
  • The Islamist bloc: Consisting of Sunni Islamist members. The Islamist bloc has 3 members elected in the 2013 national elections. In the February 2012 national elections, they won 13 seats.

In the 2006 general election, a coalition of 29 candidates who were members of parliament was formed (which was increased to 36 members after the election) aimed to support the 5 electoral districts bill.

e • d Summary of the 16 May 2009 National Assembly of Kuwait Election Results
Seats Ref
Independents 20 [4]
Sunni Islamist 11 [4]
Liberals 8 [4]
Shias 9 [4]
Popular Action Bloc 2 [4]
Total (turnout 60%) 50

Significant events

  • June 19, 1961- The Independence of Kuwait.
  • February 27, 1962- The Preliminary Assembly convened.
  • November 11, 1962- The Constitution of Kuwait was signed by the Emir, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah after being passed unanimously in the Assembly.
  • January 29, 1963- The First constitutionally elected Assembly convened.
  • February 27, 1967- The second elected Assembly convened, allegedly by forged elections.
  • August 29, 1976- The first, unconstitutional, dissolution of the Assembly by Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah.
  • May 13, 1985- Women's suffrage was passed, later removed and re-instated in 2005.
  • May 4, 1999- Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah dissolved the National Assembly on the grounds of a political deadlock between the Government and the Assembly. This time he called for elections within the constitutional period of two months.
  • November 23, 1999- The National Assembly rejects an amiri decree by Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to grant women's suffrage in the next elections.
  • May 16, 2005- The National Assembly re-grants women's suffrage law after several attempts since the amiri decree of 1999.
  • January 24, 2006- The National Assembly of Kuwait voted [3] ruling emir Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah out of office just moments before a letter of abdication was received from the emir. The Kuwait Cabinet nominated Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, prime minister, to take over as emir.
  • January 29, 2006- Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was sworn in as the 15th emir of Kuwait, which was unanimously approved by the National Assembly.
  • May 21, 2006- Amidst week long disputes over reform to decrease the number of electoral districts, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah dissolves the Assembly calling for new elections June 29 of 2006.
  • March 17, 2008- Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad again dissolves the Assembly due to misuse of parliamentary powers by some members. He called for elections May 17, 2008.
  • March 18, 2009 - Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad dissolves the Assembly calling for new elections in two months time. This happened immediately following some members' calls to "grill" (see Politics of Kuwait for a definition of grilling) the prime minister, after months of "grilling" and political deadlock. The government resigned on March the 17th.

References

See also

External links

  • Kuwait National Assembly website
  • Kuwait Politics Database
  • Kuwait Voters List
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