National Assembly of Kuwait

مجلس الأمة الكويتي

Majlis al-ʾUmma al-Kuwaytiyy
Coat of arms or logo
Logo used to represent the National Assembly
Term limits
Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
since 16 December 2023
Ibrahim Al-Waleed Al-Salim Al-Sabah
Mohamed Al-Abdullah Al-Hassan Al-Sabah
Abbas Al-Mansour Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Ismail Al-Razzaq Al-Salim Al-Sabah
Faisal Al-Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah
Seats50 elected members
Up to 16 appointed members
Length of term
Four years
Single non-transferable vote
Last election
April 4, 2024
Meeting place
Kuwait National Assembly Building, Kuwait City, Kuwait
29°22′13″N 47°57′50″E / 29.37028°N 47.96389°E / 29.37028; 47.96389

The National Assembly (Arabic: مجلس الأمة) was[1] the unicameral legislature of Kuwait. The National Assembly met in Kuwait City. The National Assembly was made up of 50 elected members and 16 directly appointed government ministers (ex officio members).[2]

The assembly was frequently dissolved by the Emir of Kuwait. From 2006 to 2024, the assembly was dissolved 13 times.[3] The assembly has been suspended since 10 May 2024.[4][5] The Emir now has full control over the legislation.[4][1]


The National Assembly was the legislature in Kuwait, established in 1963.[6] Its predecessor, the 1938 National Assembly, was formally dissolved in 1939 after "one member, Sulaiman al-Adasani, in possession of a letter, signed by other Assembly members, addressed to Iraq's King Ghazi, requesting Kuwait's immediate incorporation into Iraq." This demand came after the merchant members of the Assembly attempted to extract oil money from Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, a suggestion refused by him and upon which he instigated a crackdown which arrested the Assembly members in 1939.[7]

The National Assembly normally consisted of 65 members; this total included 50 elected deputies as well as 15 cabinet members directly appointed by the Emir.[8] Fifty deputies were elected by one non-transferable vote to serve four-year terms. Members of the cabinet also sat in the parliament as deputies. The constitution limits the size of the cabinet to 16. The cabinet ministers had the same rights as the elected MPs, with the following two exceptions: they did not participate in the work of committees, and they could not vote when an interpolation leads to a no-confidence vote against one of the cabinet members. As per Article 107 of the Kuwait constitution, the National Assembly can be dissolved by the Emir by decree, giving the reasons for the dissolution. However, the National Assembly shall not be dissolved again on the same grounds, and elections for the new Assembly must be held within a period not exceeding two months from the date of the dissolution.[9]

The National Assembly was nominally elected because it operated in an authoritarian context where the Emir of Kuwait dominated politics with the ability to dissolve the assembly.[10] However, in contrast to parliaments in other Gulf kingdoms, the Kuwaiti assembly had considerably more formal and informal power than elsewhere in the region.[3]

The assembly was previously suspended from 1976-1981 and 1986-1991.[3]

Gender balance

Kuwaiti women gained the right to vote in 2005. Women first won seats in the National Assembly in the 2009 election, in which four women, Aseel al-Awadhi, Rola Dashti, Massouma al-Mubarak and Salwa al-Jassar, were elected.


Main article: Kuwait National Assembly Building

The parliament building was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, who also designed the Sydney Opera House.

Political factions

While political parties were not legal in Kuwait, a number of political factions existed. The house was composed of different political factions:

Kuwait's final 2024 elections witnessed an increase in voter turnout.[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b "نص الأمر الأميري بحل مجلس الأمة ووقف العمل ببعض مواد الدستور". Al-Anba (in Arabic).
  2. ^ Gandhi, Jennifer (26 July 2010), "Institutions and Policies under Dictatorship", Political Institutions under Dictatorship, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 10–240, ISBN 978-0-511-51009-0, retrieved 2020-11-16
  3. ^ a b c Yom, Sean (2024). "Will Kuwait's Next Parliament Be Its Last?". Journal of Democracy.
  4. ^ a b "Kuwait has suspended its parliament. Is it moving towards autocracy". Middle East Eye.
  5. ^ "Suspension of Kuwaiti National Assembly and Potential Legal and Tax Reform". Lexology.
  6. ^ Herb, Michael (2014). The wages of oil : Parliaments and economic development in Kuwait and the UAE. Ithaca. ISBN 978-0-8014-5469-1. OCLC 897815115.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  7. ^ Crystal, Jill (27 January 1995). "3. Kuwait on the eve of oil" (Paperback). Oil and Politics in the Gulf: Rulers and Merchants in Kuwait and Qatar (Updated ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 50. ISBN 9780521466356. Retrieved 14 April 2023.
  8. ^ "Kuwait: Majles Al-Ommah (National Assembly)". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved 20 May 2024.
  9. ^ "Constitution of the State of Kuwait 1962, as amended to 2012". Retrieved 2021-09-02.
  10. ^ Gandhi, Jennifer (2008), "Institutions and Policies under Dictatorship", Political Institutions under Dictatorship, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 44–52, doi:10.1017/cbo9780511510090.005, ISBN 978-0-511-51009-0, retrieved 2020-11-16
  11. ^ Omar, Faten (2024-04-05). "High voter turnout highlights increasing awareness". kuwaittimes. Retrieved 2024-05-30.