Consulate General for
the State of Kuwait
Located at the upper northwestern corner of the Arabian Gulf, has an area of 17,818 square kilometers and is bounded on the west and north by Iraq, on the east by the Arabian Gulf, and on the south by Saudi Arabia.
Topographically, Kuwait is mainly flat desert land, the only relief areas being Muttla Ridge which fringes the north coast of the Kuwait Bay, and the Ahmadi Range, which runs between Burgan Oilfield and the sea.
The State of Kuwait was originally referred to as 'Qurain' (or Grain) in the early seventeenth century. This name is derived from the Arabic words 'Qarn' which means a high hill and 'Kout' meaning a fortress. Some historians believe that Barrak, Sheikh of the Bani Khalid tribe built Kuwait.
A territory of 5675 square kilometers was shared by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as a neutral zone until 1969, when a political boundary was agreed upon. Each of the two countries administers one-
While the boundary with Saudi Arabia is defined, the border with Iraq remains disputed.
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT
Kuwait is an independent country with a constitution. It has a democratic amiri regime. His Highness the Amir of the State is the ruler of the country. Kuwait National Assembly must enact country laws. The number of the
assembly members is 50, chosen by people every 4 years through free and fair elections. Authorities in Kuwait are divided into legislative, executive and judiciary and the Amir is the head of the authorities. Pursuant to Kuwait Constitution, no parties might be formed despite the existence of parliamentary blocs. Kuwait's system of government is monarchical and constitutional. It derives its legitimacy from Kuwait Constitution. Hence, the
authority is transferred between the members of the ruling family; the family of Mubarak Al-
Kuwait ruler is Amir and he rules through the cabinet. Decrees are not executed unless approved by the Amir.
Only the Amir can issue pardons. Kuwait government system is both parliamentary and presidential; as all laws
enacted by Kuwait National Assembly are not valid until signed by the Amir within one month. After the month, if they are not signed, they are in force same as being signed. If laws and legislation are returned to the
Assembly; then approved, they become in force without Amir signature.
The Head of State
The Amir is the head of state. He must be a male descendent of Sheikh Mubarak Al-
The Crown Prince, the Amir’s successor, is chosen by the Amir himself but his choice must be approved by the National Assembly. If approval is not given, the Amir nominates three descendants of Sheikh Mubarak from whom the Assembly chooses the Crown Prince. When an Amir dies, the Crown Prince automatically becomes the new Amir who takes oath in front of National Assembly.
The Legislative Process
Legislative power is vested both in the Amir and the National Assembly, and either have the power to propose laws.
To become law, a bill must usually be passed by the Assembly and sanctioned or ratified by the Amir. The Amir then promulgates the law, ie proclaims it publicly. A new law is published in Al-
When the National Assembly is not in session or is dissolved, the Amir may issue laws by decree. Detailed regulations under specific laws are often made by Amiri decree, or by ministerial resolution where a particular law allows this. Much of Kuwait’s detailed administrative, social and commercial regulations are issued as ministerial resolutions.
To exploit the potentials brought by the information revolution to enhance the standards of services, boosting efficiency and accuracy, Kuwait’s Cabinet approved in August 2000 the setting up of the Supreme National Committee which will be in charge of incorporating the latest in information technology in all stages of government work. The realisation of the e-
Services offered by eight state institutions would be available to public through automated systems and the Internet. Automated services by the ministries of Interior, Education, Justice and health as well as the Civil Service Commission, the Public Authority for Civil Information, Kuwait Municipality and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) are now available.
The Ministry of Interior has begun executing the major components of the Ministry’s database which is linked through high speed fibre optic network to all the Ministry’s service centres, the Ministry of Communications’ central computer and the databases of seven other government bodies. Another government body on the frontline of the modernisation process is the Civil Service Commission (CSC) which claims to allow access to 764 government services through a single ‘Portal’ through the CSC website: www.CSC.net.kw
A recent development in this direction is the introduction of the ‘smart ID card’ by The Public Authority For Civil Information (PACI)for renewal of ID cards without any paper work involved. The first issue of "Kuwait e-
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