Kuwait's Constitution combines the positive aspects of both presidential and parliamentary forms of government. It is based on principles of democracy - on the sovereignty of the nation, freedom of the citizen and on equality of all citizens in the eyes of the law.

Kuwait's Constitution was drafted by an elected 20-member Constituent Assembly and 11 ministers - who joined the Assembly later. On November 1, 1962, the draft constitution was approved by the then Amir, late Sheikh Abdallah Al-Salem Al-Sabah. The Constitution came into force on January 29, 1963, when the first National Assembly convened.

The Kuwaiti Constitution, comprising 183 articles is an exhaustive document. It is divided into five parts:

  • The state and the system of government
  • Fundamental constituents of the Kuwaiti society
  •  Public rights and duties
  •  Powers
  •  General and transitional provisions



Executive power in Kuwait is vested in the Cabinet or the Council of Ministers. It is headed by the Prime Minister, a position held traditionally by the Crown Prince. The Prime Minister is appointed through an Amiri Decree. The ministers of the Cabinet are appointed by the Amir on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. According to the Kuwaiti constitution, the number of ministers in a Cabinet must not exceed one-third the strength of the National Assembly. This number does not include the Head of the National Guard, the Amiri Diwan Affairs Minister, the Amir’s Advisor and the Chairman of the Audit Bureau.

The Cabinet controls the state institutions. It is responsible for the general policy of the government and its execution. Each minister in the Cabinet holds one or more portfolios. The Prime Minister and his ministers are accountable to the Amir and the National Assembly.

Besides executive powers, the Constitution grants the Cabinet authority to declare defensive war, proclaim martial law, and promulgate law decrees when the National Assembly is not in session or its legislative term has expired, grant pardons, and issue executive and administrative regulations.

© 2022 Embassy of the State of Kuwait - Vienna
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