CAIRO - Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah said in a televised speech on Friday that he has dissolved parliament.

The Emir also suspended some of the constitutional articles for a period not exceeding four years during which all aspects of the democratic process will be studied.

The powers of the National Assembly will be assumed by the Emir and the country's cabinet, state TV reported.

"Kuwait has been through some hard times lately ... which leaves no room for hesitation or delay in making the difficult decision to save the country and secure its highest interests," the Emir added.

The legislature in Kuwait wields more influence than similar bodies in other Gulf monarchies, and political deadlock has for decades led to cabinet reshuffles and dissolutions of parliament.

(Reporting by Enas Alashray, Yomna Ehab and Ahmed Hagagy; Editing by Chris Reese and Chizu Nomiyama)