By Amna Al-Shammari

KUWAIT, Jan 19 (KUNA) -- Tomorrow, January 20, marks the 60th anniversary of inaugurating the first session of constituent assembly.
The assembly, considered a turning point in Kuwait's political history, aimed to lay groundwork for a modern state through establishing a democratic regime via a constitution drafted with real popular participation.
The late Amir Sheikh Abullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah issued a decree in August 1961 forming a higher council tasked with working on a law organizing constituent assembly elections.
The law divided the country into 10 electoral areas from which two representatives would be elected via secret ballot. Members of assembly would amount to 20 elected representatives as well as appointed ministers.
The law also specified that an elected representative must not be younger than 30 years of age, and that he masters the Arabic language in reading and writing.
On December 30 of the same year, elections were held and 20 members were elected. They were joined by appointed members of government, dubbed transitional government, formed on January 17 by decree of Amir.
The government included 14 ministers, 11 of which were members of the royal family, and three were elected members.
In the morning of January 20, 1962, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem inaugurated the assembly in a speech declaring principles of democracy, and describing it as a pillar of the modern state and affirmed that it is the duty of the assembly to propose modes of governance qualified for a democratic future.
During that session, Abdulateef Thunayan Al-Ghanim was chosen as assembly speaker and Dr. Ahmad Al-khateeb as deputy.
The assembly formed a committee of five personnel to draft the constitution, including all of Yaqoub Al-Humaidhi, Humoud Al-Khaled, Abdulateef Al-Ghanim, Saud Al-Abdulrazzaq as well as late Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah.
The committee accomplished its task in 23 meetings between March of 1962 and October of the same year, and handed in its report to the assembly which discussed and voted on it. The Amir rectified and published the constitution on November 11, 1962.
Assembly speaker at the time, Abdulatif Al-Ghanim, stated while handing in constitution draft to the late Amir, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem, that it was a great honor for the committee to work on a constitution built on the principles of democracy and inspired by the reality of Kuwait, in an effort to achieve the hopes of the Amir for his people.
On his part, the late Amir replied thanking the assembly for the significant efforts in achieving the hopes and aspirations of the people for a democratic future that goes hand in hand with Kuwaiti culture and traditions.
On January 23 of following year, and after concluding the works of the constituent assembly, the first National Assembly elections were held, in accordance to the newly instated constitution which remains to be the governing doctrine to this day.(end) as.aai