Kuwait. According to
Countryaah.com, Parliamentary elections were held October 7; only
about 107,000 men from families who have lived in the
country since 1920 had the right to vote. Because political
parties are banned, the distribution of the 50 seats in the
National Assembly to political trends in the country became
difficult to interpret. However, the election resulted in a
majority for loyalist politicians and a decline for liberal
and Islamic candidates. After the election, emir Jabir
al-Ahmad as-Sabah reappointed the country's crown prince,
Sad al-Abd Allah as-Salim as-Sabah, as prime minister. The
66-year-old crown prince has been head of government since
1978. A week before the election, about 300 women conducted
a sit-down strike at the law firm's premises to demand
On March 18, 1991, Amnesty International in London
criticized the "arbitrary arrests and the use of torture"
made by Kuwaiti soldiers and civilians against special
Palestinians in Kuwait.
In March, US Secretary of State James Baker visited the
country and Prime Minister Sheik Saad al-Abdallah promised
on that occasion that democracy would be reinstated and
parliament reopened, but without setting a timetable.
A few days later, Kuwaiti citizens signed a call for
freedom of the press, independence in the judiciary,
legalization of the political parties and steps towards
On April 8, the emir stated that elections would be held
for a new National Assembly "whenever the situation
permits", without setting a date. Various reports indicated
that there was considerable dissatisfaction among the people
with the emir being so long to return home and with his
In June 1991, sheik Jaber al-Sabah convened a national
council to discuss elections, as well as the issues of
women's suffrage and foreign nationals in Kuwait. The
opposition continued to demand the reintroduction of the
1962 constitution and the creation of a democratically
elected parliament. None of the opposition leaders were
given the opportunity to join the emir national council.
Over 1,000 people demonstrated in the capital's streets
as the emir's decision became known. Although public
demonstrations were banned, the government did not intervene
to impede the march.
When the war ended, the emir launched the slogan of
"re-Kuwaitization" of Kuwait. He even proposed drastically
reducing the number of foreign nationals in the country.
Over 800,000 people, according to the sheikh's plans, would
be forced to leave the country. A minority was deported, but
the majority were forced to travel as it became impossible
to find work or school space for their children.
In mid-December 1991, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab
Emirates (UAE), Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait met for a
summit to establish a collective security mechanism and
establish a new security agreement for the area, where 40%
of the world's oil reserves are located. In the first months
of 1992, a new meeting was held to bring the details into
After resuming oil production, Kuwait accepted a
production quota of 2 million barrels daily, but by February
1993, the country had clashed with the other members of OPEC
and decided to increase production to 2.16 million. The
country's oil minister explained that new oil reserves had
been discovered in the "neutral zone" at the border with
In January, the press censorship was lifted. The women's
organizations demonstrated for the right to vote, and
finally, on October 5, elections to the National Assembly
were held. It was won by the independent opposition groups
which got a total of 31 seats. the fundamentalists got 19
and the liberals 12. For the first time in the country's
history, a government was appointed that had ministers who
were popularly elected.
Despite protests from Baghdad, in 1993 the UN finally
marked the border between Kuwait and Iraq. In response to
repeated Iraqi troop incursions, the United States conducted
a series of bomb attacks against the country (see Iraq). At
the same time, Washington decided to install missiles in
Kuwait, and construction of a 130-kilometer-long wall, with
1.3 million mines, was underway along the new border.
In August, the former head of the Pro-Iraqi Provisional
Government, Al-Hussein Ali was sentenced to death along with
5 other Kuwaitians and 10 Jordanians (Palestinians) who were
accused of cooperating with the Iraqi occupation forces.
In 1994, several members of the top Kuwaiti leadership
were accused of corruption. In April, Oil Minister Ali Ahmad
al-Baghli was ousted by the government, after which he
criticized the corruption within Kuwait Petroleum Corp. In
June, the Constitutional Court declared itself incompetent
in a case brought by the National Assembly against former
Finance Minister Ali Khalifah as-Sabah.
In 1995, the government - backed by a number of wealthy
Kuwaiti investors - initiated the privatization of
state-owned enterprises and at the same time made
substantial arms purchases.
In February 1996, Amnesty International criticized the
occurrence of summary executions, the use of torture and
deportations without any trial. In the October elections,
the government won 30 of the 50 seats in parliament. The
economy grew in 1996 as a result of increases in the price
of oil as well as new investments in both the construction
and oil industries.
In November 1997, the emir ordered the Iraq border closed
and the border guard reinforced in several places. The
background was the new crisis in the Baghdad-Washington
relationship. This time, Kuwait was the only Arab country to
support the United States' desire to conduct a new armed
invasion of the neighboring country.