Kuwait. According to
CountryAAH, Sheikh Jabir al-Ahmad as-Sabah, who ruled Kuwait
since 1977, died on January 15. He turned 78 and had been
ill since he suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2001. His
cousin, Crown Prince Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Jabir, was
appointed as successor but his health was also fragile.
After a vote in parliament on January 24, he abdicated and
was replaced by 77-year-old Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir
as-Sabah. The vote was probably the first in which K's
parliament had any role in appointing leaders. As a rule,
the leader is appointed between two branches of the royal
In a speech on January 30, the new emir called for unity.
In February, he appointed his half-brother, Nawaf al-Ahmad
al-Jabir as-Sabah, to crown prince. A government reform was
carried out and the emir's nephew, Sheikh Nasser Muhammad
al-Ahmad as-Sabah, was appointed prime minister.
Election elections were held on April 4 for a local
congregation in as-Salimiya, south of the capital, after a
member was appointed Minister of the Environment. It was the
first time that women were both allowed to vote and run for
office in a local election after a decision in May 2005. One
of the two female candidates ended up in second place.
Female voter turnout was about 30%.
The emirate dissolved Parliament on May 21. The decision
was preceded by the opposition's demand to sharply reduce
the number of constituencies. The parliamentary elections
were held for one year and were held on June 29. None of the
28 female candidates was elected. Although parties are not
allowed, political groups exist. The opposition, which
consisted of Islamists, liberals and nationalists, won 33
out of 50 seats. The turnout was about 60%. A new government
swore in in July. Only one of the sixteen members was
elected to Parliament. However, the government's votes are
counted in parliamentary votes. Six ministers, including the
Prime Minister (Scheik Nasser retained his post), the
Minister of Defense, Foreign Affairs, Energy and the
Interior, belong to the royal family. The government's only
woman, Masuma al-Mubarak, was moved from the Ministry of
Planning and became Minister of Communications.
Kuwait, which is estimated to have a tenth of the world's oil
reserves, announced in March that large natural gas deposits
were found in the northern part of the country.