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.