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Majles Al-Ommah (National Assembly)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Majles Al-Ommah / National Assembly
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Structure of parliament Unicameral
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1964 - 1976
1981 -1986
1992 -
President Marzouq Ali M. Al-Ghanim (M) 
Notes Elected on 6 August 2013, re-elected on 11 Dec. 2016.
Secretary General Allam Ali Jaafar Al-Kandari (M) 
Members (statutory / current number) 65 / 65

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Women (current number) 2 (3.08%)
Mode of designation directly elected 50
other 15
Notes Directly elected: 50 members are directly elected. At least one of them will join the Cabinet. (It is not possible to simultaneously serve in the Cabinet and as an MP. Therefore the number of directly elected MPs will decrease by the number appointed to the Cabinet). MPs who join the Cabinet can resign at any time and take back their parliamentary seats.

Other: Cabinet ministers who were not elected as members of the National Assembly are considered ex officio members. They can vote at the National Assembly, except in votes of confidence.

The number of Ministers shall not exceed one third of the number of the members of the National Assembly (currently 16). They must include at least one member of the National Assembly. This brings the parliament's total membership to a maximum of 65. The 16-member Cabinet formed in December 2016 comprises one elected member. The National Assembly thus comprises 49 directly elected members and 16 Cabinet members.
Term 4 years
Last renewal dates 26 November 2016
(View details)
Address Majles Al-Ommah
National Assembly
P.O. Box 716 - Safat
13008 KUWAIT
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (965) 224 36 336
220 02 607
220 02 601
Fax (965) 224 36 331
220 02 607
220 02 601
E-mail ipu-grp@kna.kw
sarsso@hotmail.com (International Affairs Section)


Parliament name (generic / translated) Majles Al-Ommah / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Electoral law 12 November 1962
Last amendment: Decree of law No 20 of 2012 (Gazetted on 23 Oct. 2012)
Mode of designation directly elected 50
other 15
Constituencies 5 multi-member constituencies (10 seats each)

Voting system Majority: Simple majority vote
Each voter chooses one candidate in a district. The 10 candidates with the most votes in each district are declared elected. If two candidates receive an equal number of valid votes, the polling committee draws lots and the winner is declared elected.
There is no threshold to win a seat.
There are no reserved seats or quotas for women, minorities or other categories.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by-elections. However, no by-elections are held when a vacancy occurs within six months of the expiry of the legislative term.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 21 years
- citizens of Kuwait with Kuwaiti father
- residence in the country at the time of election
- citizens overseas can not vote
- disqualifications: any imprisonment, persons naturalized within the last 20 years, military personnel and policemen, unrehabilitated persons convicted of a felony or dishonorable crime
Eligibility - qualified electors
- age: 30 years
- citizens of Kuwait with Kuwaiti father
- residence in the country at the time of election
- ability to read and write in Arabic
Incompatibilities - Head of State
- ministers of State
- holders of judicial offices (judges)
- executives of the Electoral Commission
- members of the Electoral Commission
- members of the armed forces
- members of the police forces
The incompatibilities above are valid during the term of office.
Candidacy requirements Candidacy requirements
- by individual candidatures (there are no political parties)
- deposit of 500 dinars, which is reimbursed if the candidate obtains at least 10 valid votes cast in the constituency. Failing this or if the candidate withdraws, this amount is paid to charity.


Parliament name (generic / translated) Majles Al-Ommah / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 26 November 2016
Timing and scope of renewal The opposition and their allies took 24 seats in elections to the 50-member National Assembly. Around half of the opposition candidates reportedly belonged to groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood or Salafists , many of whom had boycotted the previous elections in 2013 (see note). The number of members from the Shiite minority fell from eight to six. Only 20 members of the outgoing legislature were returned to the new parliament. One woman, Ms. Safaa Al-Hashem, was elected, making her the first woman in Kuwait to win three parliamentary elections. Turnout was high: Around 70 per cent of some 483,000 registered voters voted in 2016, up from 51.8% in the previous elections.

Elections were due by June 2017, but Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah dissolved the National Assembly in October 2016, stating that "security challenges " in the region could best be addressed by consulting the popular will. The early elections were held amid an economic downturn, triggered by lower oil prices. In September, the Cabinet approved economic reforms, including an increase to gasoline prices. During the election campaign, many candidates focused on policies related to health and education, and said they would oppose any austerity measures by the government.

Many Islamist and liberal candidates boycotted the 2013 elections due to a dispute over the electoral law, which they argued favoured pro-government candidates. However, some tribal groups and liberal candidates did participate in the elections.
Date of previous elections: 27 July 2013

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 16 October 2016

Timing of election: Early elections

Expected date of next elections: October 2020

Number of seats at stake: 50 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 293 (279 men, 14 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 4.8%

Number of parties contesting the election: N/A (there are no political parties)

Number of parties winning seats: N/A

Alternation of power: N/A (monarchy)

Number of parties in government: N/A

Names of parties in government: N/A

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 11 December 2016

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Marzouq Ali M. Al-Ghanim
Voter turnout
Round no 126 November 2016
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
338'133 (69.98%)

Notes Unofficial turnout figures.
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
Distribution of seats according to sex


Percent of women


Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
National Assembly (13.12.2016)
Kuna news agency website in English 0740 gmt 25 Nov 16


Parliament name (generic / translated) Majles Al-Ommah / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Title Speaker of the National Assembly
Term - duration: 4 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution of Parliament, or expiry of the membership for any reason
Appointment - elected by all Members of the Assembly
- election held at the first meeting of the new Assembly
- after the Members'mandates are validated, and after Members are sworn in
Eligibility - any Members of the Assembly can be candidate
- notification of candidatures at the first sitting of the newly elected Assembly
Voting system - formal vote by secret ballot
- absolute majority in the first round, relative majority in the following round
Procedures / results - the oldest Member presides over the Assembly during the voting
- the Secretariat General of the Assembly supervises the voting
- the oldest Member with the assistance of three Members announce the results without any delay
- the results can be challenged
Status - ranks third in the hierachy of the State, after the Emir (Head of State) and the Crown Prince
- represents the Assembly with the public authorities
- represents the Assembly in international bodies
- in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker can assume his/her role and functions
Board - the Bureau of the National Assembly comprises the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, a Parliamentary Secretary, chairmen of the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committees and the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee
- it is a collegiate presidency
Material facilities - remuneration (same as that of Minister)

Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions
- establishes and modifies the agenda
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
- examines the admissibility of request for setting up committees and/or committees of enquiry, proposes or decides on the setting up of such committees
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Assembly
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Assembly
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organizes impromptu debates
Special powers - draws the budget of the Assembly and submits it to the Bureau
- recruits, assigns and promotes staff
- appoints the Clerk, after the approval of the Bureau
- supervises the organisation of the services of Parliament, through the Secretariat General
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- plays a specific role in the conduct of foreign affairs or defence matters in collaboration with the Executive Power
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Chamber
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes the floor in legislative debates, as a Member of the Assembly and leaving the presidency chair
- provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion
- takes part in voting after all Members
- proposes bills or amendments, as a Member of the Assembly
- intervenes in the parliamentary oversight procedure
- appoints the Head of the Audit Bureau
- is consulted by the Head of State prior to the appointment of the Prime Minister

This page was last updated on 9 May 2017
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