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Kuwait ruler says election changes loom

Published October 19, 2012 12:06 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Kuwait City • Kuwait's ruler says he will amend the nation's election rules that give an apparent edge to Islamist-led opposition groups.

Sheik Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah said Friday that the new rules will be announced in the coming days. He then must set a date for parliamentary elections.

Any changes to the voting districts will likely bring strong backlash from groups trying to weaken the controls of the Western-backed ruling family.

Political tensions have risen in Kuwait amid pressures from opposition groups. In February, Islamists and allies took control of the 50-seat parliament, the most powerful among the Gulf Arab states.

But lawmakers fell into conflict with the ruling family in a deepening political crisis. The emir officially dissolved the chamber earlier this month, opening the path for new elections.