Kuwait flag Kuwait: Economic and Political Overview

The political framework of Kuwait

Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
Emir: Sheikh Mishal al-Ahmad al-Sabah (since 16 December 2023)
Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al Salim Al Sabah (since 4 January 2024)
Next Election Dates
National Assembly: 2027
Main Political Parties
The Kuwaiti Constitution upholds the notion of political party presence, despite the absence of formal legalization of political parties since Kuwait gained independence in 1961. In practice, various political formations, such as parliamentary blocs, have been permitted to develop. These encompass both religious and secular groupings, yet the majority of parliamentarians prioritize the concerns of their respective tribes.

Some organizations incluse:

- Islamic Constitutional Movement (Hadas): Islamist political organization, offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood
- National Islamic Alliance: Shia political organization, against corruption
- National Democratic Alliance: centre-right
- Kuwait Democratic Forum: centre-left

Executive Power
The chief of state is the Emir, a hereditary title. The Emir has absolute executive power including dissolving parliament, promulgating laws, referring bills back to the parliament for reconsideration, and appointing military officers. The Emir appoints the Prime Minister, who acts as the head of the government for an indefinite period of time. The Council of Ministers is appointed by the Prime Minister after being approved by the Emir. The Emir has the power to dissolve parliament but must call anticipated elections within 60 days.
Legislative Power
The legislative power in Kuwait is unicameral. The parliament called the National Assembly, has 50 members who are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms and 16 ex-officio members, who are government ministers appointed by the Emir. The parliament has the power to dismiss the Prime Minister or any other members of his cabinet by going through a series of constitutional procedures. The parliament can also override the Emir's veto by a two-thirds vote.
 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
105/180
 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Partly Free
Political Freedom:
5/7

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

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Latest Update: May 2024

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