Parliament to elect Kuwait's new emir on Sunday

Parliament will meet Sunday to elect Kuwait's new emir, who will almost certainly be Prime Minister Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, the deputy speaker of parliament said Wednesday. Mishari al-Anjari told The Associated Press the oath-taking ceremony would take place shortly after the parliament has voted in open session. In two moves without precedent in Kuwaiti history on Tuesday, the parliament deposed the new emir, Sheik Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah, on grounds of being medically unfit to rule, and the Cabinet asked the prime minister, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, another royal family member, to take charge of the country, effectively designating him as emir-apparent.

Sheik Saad had assumed the throne automatically when the long reigning emir Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah died on Jan. 15. But he was apparently unable to take the oath of office, and the parliament voted to depose him after hearing a report on his medical condition. The Cabinet unanimously asked Sheik Sabah to take charge of the country, and analysts say there is no doubt that, when parliament votes, he will receive the required simple majority of the 50 legislators.

Sheik Sabah enjoys great support, not only in parliament but among the people. He has been the de facto leader of Kuwait for years while the late emir and Sheik Saad were ailing, reports the AP. N.U.