The State and System of the Kuwait Government

The State and System of the Kuwait Government Last updated on Wednesday 21st April 2010

According to its constitution, Kuwait is a fully independent Arab state with a democratic system of rule and sovereignty is vested in the nation which represents the sources of all power. As has been provided for in the state constitution, the system of government is based on the separation of powers. HH the Amir and the National assembly have the legislative authority; HH the Amir, the cabinet and ministers have the executive authority.

The constitution

The Kuwaiti constitution is based on the principle of democracy; it combines the positive aspects of both presidential and parliamentary systems in advanced democratic countries including sovereignty of the state, public freedoms and equality before the law.

The Emir of Kuwait

It has been provided for in the state constitution that "the Amir, H.H Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, is the head of the state." It has also been provided that "H.H the Amir assumes his authority through his ministers; the Prime Minister and the cabinet are accountable to HH the Amir for general policy of the state and each minister is responsible for his own ministry." Any law is issued only after being approved by the National assembly and sanctioned by H.H the Amir. Many issues of public interest also fall under his supervision; he is also the president of some prestigious organizations, such as the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS). However, despite his several official duties, H.H the Amir is aware of his personal relations with his citizens, sharing with them their joys and sorrows.

The Crown Prince

The present Crown Prince and Prime Minister, H.H Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, is the president of the Supreme Defense Council, the Supreme Petroleum Council, the Civil Service Commission and the Housing Higher Council.

Jurisdiction

It is divided into three parts; Courts of First Instance to adjudge civil and commercial disputes; Court of Appeal, which has jurisdiction over the appealed rulings of the Court of First Instance in pursuance to law; Court of Cassation, which is considered as the supreme court of all Kuwait courts and contributes to establishing legal rules, unifying, interpreting and applying laws.

General inquiries, tel.: 242 8000

National Assembly

Democratic experience in Kuwait has become more mature and open since the establishment of the Kuwaiti parliament in 1963. Kuwaiti males who have reached the age of 21 are entitled to vote. Ministers, judges, prosecuting attorney, chiefs of voters' registration committees or their members, may not nominate themselves unless they have already resigned from their posts prior to elections. Ministers not elected in the National Assembly are considered to be members of the Assembly by virtue of their positions.

General inquiries, tel.: 245 5425

The Cabinet

The cabinet is the executive authority in Kuwait. The cabinet chairman is appointed by an Amiri decree. Accoding the state constitution, the number of ministers, including the Prime Minister, should not exceed third of the Naitonal Assembly members (50 members). However, this number does not include those who are occupying ministerial positions and who are not members in the cabinet, such as the National Guards' Chief, Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs, the Amir Counsellor and Auditing Bureau Chief.

General inquiries, tel.: 245 5333/487 7422

Audit Bureau

The Kuwait Audit Bureau is another democratic landmark. It is in charge of monitoring the state's revenue and expenditure as an independent legal entity. It monitors proper utilization and expenditure of public funds including financial supervision and auditing of the accounts of all ministries and public establishments with attached and independent budgets. Its jurisdiction is provided for by the constitution and according to the financial laws, regulations and instructions assigned to it.

General inquiries, tel.: 242 1036/244 3840

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