Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al Sabah said on Friday the Gulf Arab state’s electoral system was deficient and that he had ordered partial changes to it.
Sheikh Sabah said in an address on state television that the current political turmoil could lead to serious strife among its population, according to Reuters. The move is likely to anger the opposition, which says any law changes would be an attempt to reduce their chances of winning a majority in the next parliamentary elections.
He said 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 ruling family, according to The Associated Press.
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.