Kuwait. According to Countryaah.com, Kuwait Independence Day is February 25. The election to Parliament’s 50 seats on July 5 was a setback for the liberal forces, which received only 3 seats. Regime-friendly candidates went from 12 to 14 mandates and Islamists from 20 to 21. Of K’s residents, only 15% have the right to vote.
After the election, the country’s emir appointed his brother, the sitting foreign minister Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir as-Sabah, as new prime minister. The former prime minister, the cousin of the emir Sad al-Abd Allah as-Sabah, was allowed to retain his position as crown prince. In the past, the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister had always been the same person.
UN United Nations Compensation Victims of the Iraqi Invasion of K. 1990 (United Nations Compensation Commission, UNCC) on March 13 paid an additional $ 223 million to affected Kuwaiti companies and individuals.
The UN Security Council ruled on 3 July that Iraq no longer posed a threat to K. would regain its status of normal national border.
Authorities continued their pursuit of militant Islamists during the year. Four Kuwaitis were sentenced, for example. February 3 to five years in prison was, among other things. for financing Islamic training camps in Yemen.
Kuwait has legislated parliamentary elections at least every four years. In the 2000s, there were more frequent elections after the emir disbanded parliament on several occasions. The 2006 election was advanced from 2007 after the new emir dissolved the National Assembly as a result of disagreements over an electoral reform. New elections were held again in 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2016.
Alongside the distinction between a liberal and conservative direction, a distinction has also emerged, especially within the latter group, in relation to Islam. In the 2012 election, an opposition of 35 representatives for the first time got a majority in parliament, putting increased pressure on the emir and the government. The opposition was dominated by moderate Islamists. When the emir blocked a proposal that all legislation should be in line with Islamic law, it led to increased political tension. This tension was compounded by a decision by the Supreme Court that declared the election invalid. Then, in June, at the request of the government, the emir disbanded the newly elected parliament and reinstated the previous one. The opposition then withdrew from the assembly, and a constitutional crisis arose. The opposition boycotted the new election in 2012. In the fall of 2012, extensive demonstrations came again in Kuwait, with protests against a new electoral system, and demands for changes in a more democratic direction. Contrary to the law, direct criticism of the emir was also directed.
The new elections in 2013 saw progress for liberals as well as for tribal groups, and a decline for the Kuwait Shia population, which got 9 representatives, against 17 in 2012. Also in 2013, several opposition groups boycotted the election in protest of the new electoral law.
In the 2016 election, 24 of the 50 eligible seats went to candidates who are in opposition to the government. About half of these are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Only one of the elected members is female, compared to two in the previous period. The country’s Shia minority got six representatives. Many of the former elected officials were not re-elected; this was an expression of dissatisfaction with the policy that had been pursued, not least in the economic sphere.
Following the liberation from the Iraqi occupation in 1991, Kuwait has rebuilt its defense, with US forces stationed in the country. The country joined the global fight against terror after 2001 and became a support area for the US war in Iraq from 2003. Kuwait joined the international military forces involved in the civil war in Yemen and Syria.
Kuwait is believed to be one of the most important centers for funding radical Islamist groups, including jihadists participating in the war in Syria. Both organizations and individuals help to collect and send money to groups fighting in Syria. The relatively high degree of organizational freedom in Kuwait has made this possible.
While Kuwaiti actors have been indirectly involved with support for jihadists in Syria, the advancement of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq in particular has created uncertainty in Kuwait. Foreign warriors from Kuwait take part in the war in Syria. In June 2015, a group affiliated with IS in Saudi Arabia conducted a suicide attack against a mosque in Kuwait City.