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Britain oversaw foreign relations and defense for the ruling Kuwaiti AL-SABAH dynasty from 1899 until independence in 1961. Kuwait was attacked and overrun by Iraq on 2 August 1990. Following several weeks of aerial bombardment, a US-led, UN coalition began a ground assault on 23 February 1991 that liberated Kuwait in four days. Kuwait spent more than $5 billion to repair oil infrastructure damaged during 1990-91. The AL-SABAH family has ruled since returning to power in 1991 and reestablished an elected legislature that in recent years has become increasingly assertive. The country witnessed the historic election in May 2009 of four women to its National Assembly. Amid the 2010-11 uprisings and protests across the Arab world, stateless Arabs, known as bidoon, staged small protests in February and March 2011 demanding citizenship, jobs, and other benefits available to Kuwaiti nationals. Youth activist groups - supported by opposition legislators and the prime minister's rivals within the ruling family - rallied in March 2011 for an end to corruption and the ouster of the prime minister and his cabinet. Similar protests continued sporadically throughout April and May. In late September 2011 government inquiries of widespread corruption drew more public anger and renewed calls for the prime minister's removal.



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Government

Country name
Conventional long form State of Kuwait
Conventional short form Kuwait
Local long form Dawlat al Kuwayt
Local short form Al Kuwayt

Government type
Constitutional 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)

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)

Constitution
Approved and promulgated 11 November 1962

Legal system
Mixed legal system consisting of English common law, French civil law, and Islamic religious law

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

Suffrage
21 years of age; universal; note - males in the military or police are by law not allowed to vote; all voters must have been citizens for 20 years

Executive branch
Chief of state
Amir SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (since 29 January 2006); Crown Prince NAWAF al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (born 25 June 1937)
Head of government
Prime Minister JABIR AL-MUBARAK al-Hamad al-Sabah (since 30 November 2011); First Deputy Prime Minister AHMAD al-Hamud al-Jabir al-Sabah; Deputy Prime Ministers AHMAD AL-KHALID al-Hamad al-Sabah, SABAH AL-KHALID al-Hamad al-Sabah, Mustafa al-Jassim al-SHAMALI
Cabinet
Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister and approved by the amir; new cabinet formed in February 2012
Elections
None; the amir is hereditary; the amir appoints the prime minister and deputy prime ministers

Legislative branch
Unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (66 seats - 50 members elected by popular vote plus 16 cabinet ministers appointed by the prime minister as ex officio voting members; elected members serve four-year terms); note - the National Assembly was dissolved on 20 June 2012, the fifth time in six years
Elections
Last held on 2 February 2012 (next to be held in 2016)
Election results
Percent of vote by bloc - NA; seats by bloc - Sunni Islamists 13, Popular Action bloc 13, Shia 7, pro-government Sunni 5, Hadas 4, Islamic Salafi Alliance 4, liberals 2, independents 2

Judicial branch
High Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders
None; formation of political parties is in practice illegal but is not forbidden by law

Political pressure groups and leaders
Other
Islamists; merchants; political groups; secular liberals and pro-governmental deputies; Shia activists; tribal groups

International organization participation
ABEDA, AfDB (nonregional member), AFESD, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, Paris Club (associate), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission
Ambassador SALIM al-Abdallah al-Jabir al-Sabah
Chancery
2940 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone [1] (202) 966-0702
FAX [1] (202) 364-2868
Consulate(s) general Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Matthew H. TUELLER
Embassy
Bayan 36302, Block 13, Al-Masjed Al-Aqsa Street (near the Bayan palace), Kuwait City
Mailing address
P. O. Box 77 Safat 13001 Kuwait; or PSC 1280 APO AE 09880-9000
Telephone [965] 2259-1001
FAX [965] 2538-0282

Flag description
Three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red with a black trapezoid based on the hoist side; colors and design are based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I; green represents fertile fields, white stands for purity, red denotes blood on Kuwaiti swords, black signifies the defeat of the enemy

National symbol(s)
Golden falcon

National anthem
Name
"Al-Nasheed Al-Watani" (National Anthem)
Lyrics/music
Ahmad MUSHARI al-Adwani/Ibrahim Nasir al-SOULA
Note
Adopted 1978; the anthem is only used on formal occasions


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  Kuwait (Kuwait City):


  GPS points from Kuwait (Kuwait City)

Jazirat Bubyan Muhafazat Al Wafrah

Maqwa` Oilfields Muhafazat Al Wafrah

Umm Quadayr-1 Muhafazat Al Wafrah

Khabrat Al Qasr Muhafazat Al Wafrah

As Sabahiyah Muhafazat Al Ahmadi

Al Ahmadi Muhafazat Al `asimah

Abu Amarat Muhafazat Al Wafrah

Al Harija Muhafazat Al Wafrah




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