Kuwaiti parliament votes to name new emir

Kuwait's parliament voted unanimously on Sunday to name Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah as the new emir of the tiny, oil-rich US ally, ending an unprecedented leadership crisis that saw the legislature vote to oust the former leader. The new emir, the former prime minister, was not present for the 64-0 vote marking the first time in Kuwait's history that the parliament has had a role in choosing the emir, a matter that has been the business of the ruling family for hundreds of years. The confirmation put an official end to a leadership struggle and embarrassing dispute within the ruling Al Sabah family that had assumed crisis proportions after Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah died Jan. 15, leaving an ailing prince as his successor. Sheik Sabah, who has been the de facto leader for years while the former and the late emirs were ill, will take the oath of office in parliament later Sunday. He will say: "I swear by Almighty God to respect the Constitution and the laws of the state, to defend the liberties, interests and properties of the people and to safeguard the independence and territorial integrity of the country."