Overview and context
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Nationally Determined Contribution (UNFCCC website)
Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy; it has a parliamentary system of government and the Emir is the constitutional head of the state. The Emir and the Crown Prince are members of the ruling family. The constitution protects the Emir’s person as immune and inviolable. Kuwaiti constitution establishes Sharia law as the main source of legislation.
The legislature is unicameral with legislative power vested with the Emir and the National Assembly, which is comprised of 65 members, of whom 50 are democratically elected by naturalized Kuwaitis for four years. Last elections were held in November 2016 and the next ones are due in 2020.
Executive power is vested with the Emir, exercised through the Prime Minister and his Cabinet of Ministers. The Cabinet controls the state institutions, responsible for the general policy of the government and its execution. The Emir has absolute authority over rule with the right to propose, promulgate and ratify laws, appoint the Prime Minister and Cabinet of Ministers and to dissolve the Parliament. The Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers are appointed as ex-officio members. Constitutionally, the number of appointed members should not exceed one-third of the elected members. Elected officials may serve in the cabinet. Judicial powers are vested with the courts, which exercise it in the name of the Emir. The Court of Cassation is the supreme court of appeal in Kuwait.
The National Assembly can initiate legislation, debate government policies and programmes and pass laws. It has also the authority to represent public concerns and question ministers (except the prime minister) and to propose a vote of no confidence in the government. The decisions of the National Assembly are only valid if more than half the members are present.
The constitution prohibits political parties. All laws passed by the National Assembly should have at least two-thirds majority in their first vote (but require only a majority if presented again in the next session) and should be promulgated by the Emir within 30 days (7 days in an emergency) after which it will automatically become a law. The Emir can demand reconsideration of bills within 30 days, but if he does not do so, bills automatically become laws. The Emir can also pass special decrees and laws to be submitted to the Parliament at its first meeting. The Council may discuss and pass them within a maximum period of five to 10 days from the date of submission, however if the parliament rejects such a decree or law then it ceases to have any power.