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Kuwait: PPP investment plans fall short, MPs threaten ‘grillings’

Politics: Governed by the Al-Sabah family since the 18th century, Kuwait gained independence from Britain in 1961; its new constitution confirmed the hereditary monarchy but gave significant powers to an independent judiciary and elected assembly. The emir – Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah (born in June 1929) since 2006 – retains final say. Parties are banned, but active associations and factions create opposition blocs in the 50-member Majlis Al-Umma (National Assembly). The downside of the Gulf’s most participatory politics has been constant friction between the elected parliament and appointed government, often leading to paralysis of the state.

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