conventional long form: State of Kuwait

conventional short form: Kuwait

local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt

local short form: Al Kuwayt

etymology: the name derives from the capital city, which is from Arabic "al-Kuwayt" a diminutive of "kut" meaning "fortress," possibly a reference to a small castle built on the current location of Kuwait City by the Beni Khaled tribe in the 17th century

Government type
constitutional monarchy (emirate)

Capital
name: Kuwait City

geographic coordinates: 29 22 N, 47 58 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the name derives from Arabic "al-Kuwayt" a diminutive of "kut" meaning "fortress," possibly a reference to a small castle built on the current location of Kuwait City by the Beni Khaled tribe in the 17th century

Administrative divisions
6 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al 'Asimah, Al Farwaniyah, Al Jahra', Hawalli, Mubarak al Kabir

Independence
19 June 1961 (from the UK)

National holiday
National Day, 25 February (1950)

Constitution
history: approved and promulgated 11 November 1962; suspended 1976 to 1981 (4 articles); 1986 to 1991; May to July 1999

amendments: proposed by the amir or supported by at least one third of the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds consent of the Assembly membership and promulgation by the amir; constitutional articles on the initiation, approval, and promulgation of general legislation cannot be amended

Legal system
mixed legal system consisting of English common law, French civil law, and Islamic sharia law

International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship
citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Kuwait

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: not specified

Suffrage
21 years of age and at least 20-year citizenship

Executive branch
chief of state: Amir NAWAF al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (since 30 September 2020); Crown Prince MISHAL Al Ahmad Al Sabah, born in 1940, is the brother of Amir NAWAF al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah

head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh Muhammad Al Sabah Al Salim Al Sabah (since 19 July 2022); First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmed al-Nawaf Al Sabah (since 22 March 2022), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Talal al-Khaled Al Sabah (since 9 March 2022), and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Dr. Mohammed al-Faris (since 22 March 2022)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, approved by the amir

elections/appointments: amir chosen from within the ruling family, confirmed by the National Assembly; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the amir; crown prince appointed by the amir and approved by the National Assembly

Legislative branch
description: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (65 seats; 50 members directly elected from 5 multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 15 ex-officio members (cabinet ministers) appointed by the amir; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 5 December 2020 (next to be held NA)

election results: all candidates ran as independents, though nearly one-half were oppositionists; composition of elected members - men 50, women 0, percent of women 0%

Judicial branch
highest courts: Constitutional Court (consists of 5 judges); Supreme Court or Court of Cassation (organized into several circuits, each with 5 judges)

judge selection and term of office: all Kuwaiti judges appointed by the Amir upon recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council, a consultative body comprised of Kuwaiti judges and Ministry of Justice officials

subordinate courts: High Court of Appeal; Court of First Instance; Summary Court

Political parties and leaders
none; the government does not recognize any political parties or allow their formation, although no formal law bans political parties