August 1990 Iraqi forces invade Kuwait. Shortly after, Iraqi officials formally annex the entire country. U.S. military forces arrive in Saudi Arabia and the U.N. declares Iraqi annexation of Kuwait void.
1991 The U.S. Congress grants President George H. W. Bush authority to wage war against Iraq. Allied troops take control of Kuwait. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein orders his military forces to withdraw from Kuwait. The following day, the Washington Times reports, President Bush declares, "Kuwait is liberated, Iraq's army is defeated." Iraq repeals its annexation of Kuwait. However, Iraqi forces continue to assault oil fields in Kuwait. The U.S. State Department reports that Iraqi forces set ablaze or damage 749 of Kuwait's oil wells. The country will spend more than US$5 billion to repair the oil infrastructure.
1992 The Amir holds new elections for the National Assembly, which fulfills a promise he made during the period of Iraqi occupation. Following elections in 1985, the National Assembly had been dissolved.
November 1994 Iraq formally accepts the U.N.-demarcated border with Kuwait.
May 1999 Amir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah issues a decree giving women full political rights, but the National Assembly successfully votes to defeat the Amir's decision. In the same month, the Amir dissolves the National Assembly, according to his constitutional right. Under the 1962 Constitution, the Amir is allowed to dissolve the elected National Assembly by decree and is required to hold new elections within two months.
June 1999 The International Press Institute reports, the Qatari-based television station, Al-Jazeera, is banned from conducting any media-related activity in Kuwait because comments made by "an Iraqi caller had apparently insulted the Emir; an offence which is against the Kuwaiti Constitution." Al-Jazeera resumes activities in late July.
January 2000 Three women philosophy professor, Aliya Shu`ayb, her publisher, Yahia al-Rubay`an, and novelist and short story writer, Laila al-`Othman are sentenced to two months in prison under Kuwait's Press and Publications Law, which makes publishing materials that violate "God or the prophets or the companions of the prophet Mohammad" and practicing journalistic activities deemed insulting to the Amir and criminal offenses. The appeals court drops the prison sentences, but fines the three women for immorality. The two books involved are banned.
July 2003 Amir Sheikh Jaber appoints his brother, Sheik Sabah, as prime minister. During the previous 40 years, the Amir had appointed the crown prince the successor of the Amir upon his death as Kuwait's prime minister. However, by making this new appointment, Sheikh Jaber separates the two positions between different ruling family members.
October 2004 Transparency International reports, the Council of Ministers merges its economic and legal standing subcommittees in an attempt to address corruption within the public sector by bringing together a wide range of expertise. Previously, the subcommittees had not dealt with corruption.
January 2005 The International Press Instutute reports, "Kuwaiti authorities arrested Adil Aidan, a correspondent for television news channel Al Arabiya, when he quoted a Kuwaiti security source saying that militants had clashed with security forces. The government later denied the report, which was aired by the station. Aidan was not formally charged but was investigated for allegedly disseminating false news. During his detention, Kuwaiti journalists staged a demonstration outside the Ministry of the Interior to protest the arrest."
February 2005 The International Press Instutute reports, Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah met with Kuwaiti editors to issue a warning that the Cabinet would not tolerate the publication of information on the country's security situation… Editors were also pressured to ensure that their reporting on the state's battle with militants conform with official information from the Ministry of Interior. The prime minister threatened to suspend or permanently close newspapers that opposed his demands and said officials were prepared to carry out the measures in accordance with Article 35 of the Press Law, which empowers authorities to suspend or close publications."
According to Transparency International, sitting judges are banned from acting as government advisers in a measure to avoid conflicts-of-interest, following a Council of Ministers resolution.
April 2005 Two staff members of the Ministry of Public Works are sentenced to 10-year prison terms for their involvement in a scam where inflated salaries were transferred to other employees. When the difference was returned, it was embezzled. The scam was brought to public attention during the summer of 2004 when the press reported allegations that six employees had been drawing illicit funds from the budget. The government later introduced an electronic system that transfers employees' salaries directly into their accounts.
May 2005 Parliament gives women the right to vote and the right to run for seats in the National Assembly.
June 2005 Dr. Maasouma Al-Mubarak becomes the first female minister when the prime minister appoints her minister of planning and administrative development.
December 2005 The International Press Institute reports, "The approval of a new press law that limits the government monopoly on newspaper licensing, lessens prison sentences for journalists and bans the closure of newspapers without a court order was postponed in December when too few MPs attended a parliament vote on acceptance of the amendments. Had the vote taken place as scheduled, approval of the new law was expected to follow early in 2006 despite continued disagreement over amendments regarding the jailing of journalists. The final draft submitted to the Assembly's Educational Committee on 17 December banned prison sentences for all but religious offences or for criticizing the Emir. Some members, however, argued that journalist imprisonment should be banned outright while Islamist MPs tended to favour increased jail terms for religious offences."
January 2006 Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah dies. The former Prime Minister succeeds him as the new Amir.
March 2006 Parliament passes the new press law, which limit the government monopoly on newspapers by allowing for new publications and giving any party that is denied a publishing license the right to appeal the decision in court. The law offers more protection to existing publications by preventing the cancellation of a license, suspension of a newspaper, or detention of a journalist without a court order. The law bars journalists from being jailed while under investigation and bans jail terms for insulting the Amir. Fines associated with insulting the Amir, however, are increased and range between US$17,000 and US$70,000. Religious blasphemy carries prison terms of up to one year, as well as heavy fines. The law also increases the minimum capital necessary to establish a publishing company that issues a daily newspaper to approximately US$950,000. News sources report that a police sergeant raped a Filipino woman, and that the policeman in question is taken into custody pending results of an investigation. The Court of Cassation sentences the officer to 10 years in prison. Two defendants who witnessed the rape are each sentenced to seven years in prison.
May 2006 Just as in May 1999, the Amir dissolves the National Assembly because the assembly reaches an impasse over reducing the number of electoral districts from 25 to five. The Amir complies with the constitution by holding new elections within 60 days on June 29.
June 2006 Parliamentary elections are held, which marks the first national elections where women have the right to vote and run for office. Despite reports of vote buying by the government and the opposition, local observers and the press consider the elections generally free and fair.
July 2006 The newly elected legislature passes a law to reduce the number of electoral districts from 25 to five. According to the U.S. State Department, "reformers hoped would increase the transparency of the democratic process by increasing the number of votes necessary to win a seat in parliament."
November 2006 Khalid Obaysan al-Mutairi is jailed for one day for writing an article suggesting Saddam Hussein is the legitimate leader of Iraq. In the same month, a journalist is found guilty under the Press and Publications Law of questioning the independence of the judiciary. The penalty is a three-month suspended sentence with three years' probation.
August 2007 Bashar Al-Sayegh, editor of the daily Al Jarida newspaper, is arrested after an anonymous user posted a comment criticizing the Amir on an open news forum website moderated by Al-Sayegh. While state security officers dressed in civilian clothing arrest Al-Sayegh, another editor at the paper, Jassim Al Qames, photographs the arrest, and is arrested on charges of obstructing police activity. Al Qames is released after several hours in detention, but is made to sign a pledge stating that he will not obstruct the work of security officers and will appear before the security services if summoned. Al Sayegh is released two days after his arrest. On Aug. 23, authorities arrest the individual who posted the comments on Al Sayegh's website, Nayef Abdullah Al Ajmi, along with three other bloggers. The International Press Institute claims "the arrests represent the biggest crackdown on Internet use by Kuwaiti authorities in recent years."
November 2007 The Ministry of Social Affairs & Labor (MOSAL) and the Ministry of Interior (MOI) discover during the year numerous cases of ministry employees forging documents to allow the importation of foreign workers. Police arrest many individuals, begin investigations, and announce they will strengthen measures to prohibit further document fraud. On Nov. 11, MOSAL closes down two companies that were importing illegal workers, fines other companies, and sends 139 employers to court for violating labor laws.
December 2007 The Kuwait Transparency Society, an NGO focused on combating corruption, does not produce promised corruption indexes for government institutions by year's end, though its license had been granted by the government in March 2006.