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KUWAIT
Majles Al-Ommah (National Assembly)

This page contains the full text of the PARLINE database entry on the selected parliamentary chamber, with the exception of Specialized bodies modules which, because of their excessive length, can be only viewed and printed separately.

Modules:
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name (generic / translated) Majles Al-Ommah / National Assembly
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Structure of parliament Unicameral
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1964 - 1976
1981 -1986
1992 -
LEADERSHIP
President Marzouq Ali M. Al-Ghanim (M) 
Notes Elected on 6 August 2013.
Secretary General Allam Ali Jaafar Al-Kandari (M) 
COMPOSITION
Members (statutory / current number) 65 / 65
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN


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Women (current number) 1 (1.54%)
Mode of designation directly elected 50
other 15
Notes Other: ministers who were not elected as members. Cabinet members sit in parliament as ex officio and enjoy the same voting rights as elected members. Since the Cabinet comprises a maximum of 16 members (including at least one member elected to parliament), this brings the parliament's total membership to 65.
Term 4 years
Last renewal dates 27 July 2013
(View details)
CONTACT INFORMATION
Address Majles Al-Ommah
National Assembly
P.O. Box 716 - Safat
13008 KUWAIT
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (965) 224 36 336
220 02 607
220 02 601
Fax (965) 224 36 331
220 02 607
220 02 601
E-mail ipu-grp@kna.kw
sarsso@hotmail.com (International Affairs Section)
Website
http://www.kna.kw/

ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Parliament name (generic / translated) Majles Al-Ommah / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Electoral law 12 November 1962
Last amendment: Decree of law No 20 of 2012 (Gazetted on 23 Oct. 2012)
Mode of designation directly elected 50
other 15
Constituencies 5 multi-member constituencies (10 seats each)


Voting system Majority: Simple majority vote
Each voter chooses one candidate in a district. The 10 candidates with the most votes in each district are declared elected. If two candidates receive an equal number of valid votes, the polling committee draws lots and the winner is declared elected.
There is no threshold to win a seat.
There are no reserved seats or quotas for women, minorities or other categories.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by-elections. However, no by-elections are held when a vacancy occurs within six months of the expiry of the legislative term.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 21 years
- citizens of Kuwait with Kuwaiti father
- residence in the country at the time of election
- citizens overseas can not vote
- disqualifications: any imprisonment, persons naturalized within the last 20 years, military personnel and policemen, unrehabilitated persons convicted of a felony or dishonorable crime
CANDIDATES
Eligibility - qualified electors
- age: 30 years
- citizens of Kuwait with Kuwaiti father
- residence in the country at the time of election
- ability to read and write in Arabic
Incompatibilities - Head of State
- ministers of State
- holders of judicial offices (judges)
- executives of the Electoral Commission
- members of the Electoral Commission
- members of the armed forces
- members of the police forces
The incompatibilities above are valid during the term of office.
Candidacy requirements Candidacy requirements
- by individual candidatures (there are no political parties)
- deposit of 500 dinars, which is reimbursed if the candidate obtains at least 10 valid votes cast in the constituency. Failing this or if the candidate withdraws, this amount is paid to charity.

LAST ELECTIONS

Parliament name (generic / translated) Majles Al-Ommah / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
BACKGROUND
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 27 July 2013
Timing and scope of renewal The 2013 election returned eight members of the Shiite minority (down from 17), three liberals (up from none), seven Sunni Islamists (up from five), and 24 members from tribal groups (unchanged). Two women were elected, down from three.

This was the third snap election in 17 months and followed the Constitutional Court's June 2013 decision ordering the dissolution, on procedural grounds, of the legislature elected in December 2012. The Court upheld the 2012 amendments to the electoral law reducing the number of votes per eligible voter from four to one. The amendments had triggered an opposition boycott in the December 2012 election.

While some opposition figures again boycotted the 2013 election – they believe the electoral law favours pro-government candidates - many tribal groups and liberal candidates participated. Most candidates focused on local issues such as employment, housing, health care and education.

On 28 July, the Emir re-appointed Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Sabah as Prime Minister, tasking him with forming a new Cabinet, the thirteenth in seven years.
Date of previous elections: 1 December 2012

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 16 June 2013

Timing of election: Early elections

Expected date of next elections: July 2017

Number of seats at stake: 50 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 329 (321 men, 8 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 2.4%

Number of parties contesting the election: N/A (there are no political parties)

Number of parties winning seats: N/A

Alternation of power: N/A (monarchy)

Number of parties in government: N/A

Names of parties in government: N/A

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 6 August 2013

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Marzouq Ali M. Al-Ghanim
STATISTICS
Voter turnout
Round no 127 July 2013
Number of registered electors
Voters
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
439'911
228'314 (51.9%)

Notes
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
Distribution of seats according to sex
Men

Women

Percent of women
48

2

4.00%
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Comments
Sources:
National Assembly (07.08.2013, 18.05.2014)
http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?id=124

Note on the number of women:
- Two women were directly elected in the July 2013 elections. The 16-member Cabinet comprises two women. As Cabinet members (including one MP) sit in parliament ex officio, there are four women out of 65 members.
- Following petitions against the parliamentary election results, on 23 December 2013, the Constitutional Court cancelled the election of two MPs, including one woman, thereby reducing the number of women to three out of 65 members.
- A new Cabinet formed in January 2014 comprised only one woman, reducing the total number of women to two out of 65 members.
- On 15 May 2014, the National Assembly accepted the resignation of five members, including the sole woman member.
- No women were elected in the by-elections held on 26 June 2014. The National Assembly thus comprised only one woman (Cabinet member) out of 65 members.

PRESIDENCY OF THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name (generic / translated) Majles Al-Ommah / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
APPOINTMENT AND TERM OF OFFICE
Title Speaker of the National Assembly
Term - duration: 4 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution of Parliament, or expiry of the membership for any reason
Appointment - elected by all Members of the Assembly
- election held at the first meeting of the new Assembly
- after the Members'mandates are validated, and after Members are sworn in
Eligibility - any Members of the Assembly can be candidate
- notification of candidatures at the first sitting of the newly elected Assembly
Voting system - formal vote by secret ballot
- absolute majority in the first round, relative majority in the following round
Procedures / results - the oldest Member presides over the Assembly during the voting
- the Secretariat General of the Assembly supervises the voting
- the oldest Member with the assistance of three Members announce the results without any delay
- the results can be challenged
STATUS
Status - ranks third in the hierachy of the State, after the Emir (Head of State) and the Crown Prince
- represents the Assembly with the public authorities
- represents the Assembly in international bodies
- in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker can assume his/her role and functions
Board - the Bureau of the National Assembly comprises the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, a Parliamentary Secretary, chairmen of the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committees and the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee
- it is a collegiate presidency
Material facilities - remuneration (same as that of Minister)

FUNCTIONS
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions
- establishes and modifies the agenda
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
- examines the admissibility of request for setting up committees and/or committees of enquiry, proposes or decides on the setting up of such committees
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Assembly
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Assembly
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organizes impromptu debates
Special powers - draws the budget of the Assembly and submits it to the Bureau
- recruits, assigns and promotes staff
- appoints the Clerk, after the approval of the Bureau
- supervises the organisation of the services of Parliament, through the Secretariat General
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- plays a specific role in the conduct of foreign affairs or defence matters in collaboration with the Executive Power
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Chamber
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes the floor in legislative debates, as a Member of the Assembly and leaving the presidency chair
- provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion
- takes part in voting after all Members
- proposes bills or amendments, as a Member of the Assembly
- intervenes in the parliamentary oversight procedure
- appoints the Head of the Audit Bureau
- is consulted by the Head of State prior to the appointment of the Prime Minister

This page was last updated on 15 September 2015
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