GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Government: 1962 constitution specifies "hereditary
amirate" and fixes succession among male "descendants of the late
Mubarak Al Sabah." Ruler in 1994 was Jabir al Ahmad al Jabir Al
Sabah, who became amir in 1977. Sixty-member (fifty elected, ten
appointed) National Assembly created in 1963, suspended from 1976
to 1980 and again in 1986; replaced in 1990 with partially elected
National Council. National Assembly reconstituted by October 1992
elections. Opposition and independent candidates-- including some
nineteen Islamists--won thirty to thirty-five seats.
Politics: Al Sabah family dominates political
events, but several prominent merchant families also powerful.
Opposition, independent, and Islamist elements becoming stronger
in early 1990s. Political parties illegal.
Foreign Relations: As result of Iraqi invasion
of August 2, 1990, and 1991 Persian Gulf War, Kuwait's relations
with the West and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, particularly
Saudi Arabia, strengthened to prevent future Iraqi incursion.
In addition to GCC, Kuwait belonged to more than twenty international
organizations, including United Nations, League of Arab States,
Nonaligned Movement, Organization of the Islamic Conference, and
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Data as of January 1993