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Kuwait in mourning for ex-leader, election campaign halted.

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait began a three-day mourning period on Wednesday following the death of former emir Sheikh Saad Abdullah al-Sabah, and campaigning for Saturday s

general election was suspended.

Sheikh Saad, 78, who was emir for just nine days, died late Tuesday after a long illness. He will be laid to rest early Wednesday.

The 274 candidates standing in the legislative election suspended their campaigns for three days which means no more election rallies will be held before Kuwaitis go to the polls.

Banks, the stock market and most of private sector institutions will also be closed. The government however stressed that the election, called after a new political crisis in the oil-rich emirate, will not be postponed.

Sheikh Saad succeeded to the throne in January 2006 after the death of his predecessor, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah. But he was deposed by parliament after only nine days on health grounds.

Born in 1930, Sheikh Saad was the eldest son of the late Sheikh Abdullah al-Salem al-Sabah, the 11th emir of Kuwait, known as the father of independence and the constitution.

He served as Kuwait s crown prince for over 30 years, and as prime minister for 25 years before he relinquished the post in 2003 due to poor health.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:May 25, 2008
Words:225
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