Kuwait is a monarchy governed under the constitution promulgated in 1962. The emir, the hereditary monarch of the Mubarak line of the ruling al-Sabah family, serves as head of state. The government is headed by the prime minister, who is appointed by the monarch; until 2003 the prime minister traditionally was the crown prince. The unicameral legislature consists of the 50-seat National Assembly, whose members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. There are no official political parties, although several political groups act as de facto parties. Administratively, the country is divided into six governorates.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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