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Kuwaiti National Assembly… Democracy on display, voice of people

The National Assembly of Kuwait, since inception, has always put on display the true essence of the democratic process and practice in the country, giving the people their voice and enabling them to determine their future through legislation and laws.

The parliament experience in its modern sense with people choosing their representatives began with the establishment of the Municipal Council in 1930 when Kuwaitis chose 11 members and the council’s head. This was followed by the elections of the departments for media, health, and endowment (Awqaf).

In 1938, during the era of the late Amir Sheikh Ahmad Jaber Al-Sabah, a council aiding in the matters of governance was elected with the inclusion of 14 elected members out of 20. Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah was chosen as the head of the council.

After transitioning to a constitutional state, the late Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah signed a decree on August 26, 1961, which stated that elections for the Constitutional Assembly would be held on December 30, 1961 to choose 20 members in addition to 11 ministers. The late Amir inaugurated the first session on January 20, 1062.

The Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah presided over the first session of the Constitutional Assembly on January 20, 1962.

The assembly was tasked with the most important mission in the history of the country, writing the constitution of Kuwait.

The elections for the very first National Assembly was held on January 23, 1963 after the independence of Kuwait with 250 candidates running to be included in the 50-seat parliament. Eligible voters amounted to 16,889 covering 10 constituencies. The inaugural session was held on January 29 the same year. The term of the house concluded on January 3, 1967.

Elections for the second legislative term of parliament was held on January 25, 1967 with 220 candidates involved from 10 constituencies and 27,296 eligible voters casting their ballot.

The first session of parliament was held on February 7, 1967 and the term concluded on December 30, 1970.

On January 23, 1971, elections for the third legislative term held with 180 candidates running and 40,649 eligible voters partaking in the elections in 10 constituencies. The first session of the term was held on February 10, 1971 and the term concluded on January 8, 1975.

The fourth legislative term elections was held on January 27, 1975 with 256 hopefuls running and 52,994 eligible voters casting their ballot in 10 constituencies. First session of parliament in that term was held on February 11, 1975, but the parliament was dissolved on August 29, 1976.

On February 23, 1981, election for the fifth legislative term was held with the participation of 42,008 eligible voters choosing from 447 candidates representing 25 constituencies. The first session of parliament for the term was held on March 9, 1981. The parliament ended its term on January 19, 1985.

On February 20, 1985, election for the sixth legislative term was held with the participation of 56,845 eligible voters choosing from 231 candidates representing 25 constituencies. The first session of parliament for the term was held on March 9, 1985. The parliament was dissolved, before finishing the term, on July 3, 1986.

On April 22, 1990, the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah signed a order to establish the national council and on June 10, 1990, election was held to choose the members of the council involving 62, 123 eligible voters in 25 constituencies. On June 28, 1990, an Amiri order was issued assigning 25 members of the national council.

The first legislative term of the national council ended with the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. The second legislative term of the council held on July 9, 1991, but in August 1, 1992, a decree was issued to end the term and the session of the national council.

On October 5, 1992, the elections for 7th legislative term for the National Assembly began with the participation of 278 candidates and the 81,440 eligible voters from 25 constituencies. The first session of the term was held on October 20, 1992 and the term concluded on October 5, 1996.

On October 7, 1996, election for the eight legislative term began with 230 candidates running and 107,169 voting casting ballot in 25 constituencies. The first session of the term was held on October 20, 1996, but parliament was dissolved on May 4, 1999.

On July 3, 1999, some 288 candidates and 112,882 eligible voters were involved in the 9th legislative term elections held in 25 constituencies. The first session of the term was held on July 17, 1999 and concluded on May 21, 2003.

Some 264 candidates and 136,715 voters took part in the elections for the 10th legislative term of parliament held in the country’s 25 constituencies On July 5, 2003. The first session of the term was held on July 19, 2003, but the term did not finish its allocated period and was dissolved on May 21, 2006.

The 11th legislative term of parliament had an election involving 288 candidates and 327,287 eligible voters. It was held on June 29, 2006 in 25 constituencies. The first session was held on July 12, 2006, but the parliament did not finish the term, dissolved on March 19, 2008.

On July 17, 2008, elections for the 12th legislative term of parliament had 275 candidates running with 361,684 eligible voters from five constituencies. The first session was held on June 1, 2008. The house was dissolved on March 18, 2009.

The 13th legislative term’s elections were held on May 16, 2009 with 210 candidates running and 384,790 candidates from five constituencies.

The 13th legislative term saw victory of four women for the first time in Kuwait’s history: Dr. Maasouma Al-Mubarak, Dr. Rola Dashti, Dr. Aseel Al-Awadhi and Dr. Salwa Al-Jassar. The first session of the term was held on May 31, 2009 and the parliament was dissolved on December 6, 2011.

Elections were held on February 2, 2012 to elect members of parliament for the 14th legislative term, with 210 candidates from five constituencies, and 400,296 eligible voters. The house held first session on February 15, 2012 but the Constitutional Court considered, in a ruling on June 20, 2012, void because of irregularities in a decree that dissolved the 2009 parliament, and the court reinstated it.

Elections for the 14th legislative term were held on December 1, 2012. Some 307 candidates ran in five contituencies with 422,569 eligible voters. The house held first session on December 16, but the Constitutional Court ruled, on June 16, 2013, that elections were void and revoked memberships of winning candidates.

The 14th legislative term’s election was again held on July 27, 2013. Some 321 candidates ran for parliament with 439,715 eligible voters casting their ballot in five constituencies. The first session of the term was held on August 6, 2013, but the house was dissolved on October 16, 2016.

Elections for the 15th legislative term held on November 26, 2016 with 293 candidates partaking on the race and 483, 186 eligible voters casting their ballots in five constituencies. The first session of the term began on December 23, 2016, and the final session on October 20, 2020.

Elections for the 16th legislative term of parliament held on December 5, 2020, with 326 candidates running and 567,694 eligible voters covering five constituencies. The first session was held on December 15, 2020, but the parliament did not finish the term, dissolved on August 2, 2022.

On September 29, 2022, election for the 17th legislative term held with the participation of 305 candidates, while eligible voters amount to 795,911 in the five constituencies.

The 17th legislative term began its first session on October 11, but the constitutional court decided on March 19, 2023 to annul the 2022 National Assembly, which paved the way for the return of the 2020-elected parliament. On May 1st, 2023, a decree was issued to dissolve parliament.

On June sixth, 2023, the 17th legislative term re-election began with 207 candidates partaking and 793,646 eligible voters casting their ballot in the five constituencies.

On February 15, 2024, a decree was issued to dissolve parliament.

On February 27, the cabinet set April 4 as the date of the National Assembly elections and on March 2, Kuwait’s official gazette published Decree No. 29/2024 inviting eligible voters to elect parliament members.

Source: KUNA



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