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Kuwait Index
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Constitutional Background

Kuwait's 1962 Constitution draws on both Western and Arab models. However, women do not have a right to vote and the freedom of association (Art. 43) does not include the foundation of political parties. Constitutional guarantees have been frequently suspended by Amiri decree (cf. History below). Nevertheless, after the 1990 invasion of Iraqi forces, the 1991 'Operation Desert Storm' reinstated the Kuwaiti government of the al-Sabah family.

History and News

  • 16 Jan to 28 Feb 1991: 'Operation Desert Storm' forces Iraq to comply with UN resolutions and reinstates the Kuwaiti government of the al-Sabah family. 
  • 13 Oct 1990: The exiled government of Amir and Crown Prince promises to consolidate the Constitution by reactivating political and communication rights.
  • 28 Aug 1990: Kuwait is declared the 19th province of Iraq. 
  • 2 Aug 1990: Iraq invades Kuwait; on the same day, the UN Security Council passes Resolution 660 condemning the invasion.
  • July 1990: Iraq, under President Saddam Hussein, stresses that its border disputes with Kuwait were never solved and Kuwait undermines Iraqi exports by not meeting OPEC quotas. 
  • 31 Aug 1986: The Amir by decree dissolves the municipal councils.
  • 3 July 1986: The Amir Jabir al-Ahmad by decree suspends constitutional rights (political and press activity), dissolves the National Assembly, has Crown Prince Saad al-Abdullah form a new government, and announces government by decree.
  • 11 July 1985: After bomb attacks on cafes in Kuwait City, an anti-subversion bill threatens death penalty for all bombing terrorists.
  • 26 Jan 1982: Legislation is passed permitting abortion in cases of danger to the life of the woman or severe brain damage of the fetus.
  • 19 Jan 1982: Female Suffrage is refused following recommendation of a government committee.
  • 23 Feb 1981: During parliamentary elections, pro-government candidates win an overwhelming majority and convene in a new National Assembly.
  • 8 Feb 1978: A new government under the Heir apparent and Prime Minister is formed after Shaikh Jabir al-Ahmad becomes the new Amir.
  • 1976: During recess, the National Assembly is dissolved and constitutional provisions about re-election and the freedom of the press are suspended.
  • 23 Jan 1971: Nationalist Party under Ahmedal Khatib wins 10 seats in parliamentary elections.
  • 4 Dec 1965: Shaikh Sabah al-Salem succeeds his brother as Amir.
  • 14 May 1962: Kuwait becomes the 111th member of the UN
  • 23 Jan 1962: First elections to the National Assembly.
  • 11 Nov 1962: Promulgation of the 1962 Constitution.
  • 1961: Kuwait announces its complete independence, is threatened by Iraq, but helped by Great Britain by sending troups.
  • 1922: Kuwait-Saudi Arabia relations are established with the Treaty of Uqair.
  • 1914: Kuwait becomes an independent state under British protection.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - December 16th, 2010 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.