Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad takes oath as Kuwait's 16th Emir - GulfToday

Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad takes oath as Kuwait's 16th Emir


Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad attends the the Arab inter-parliamentary union in Kuwait City. File/ AFP

Gulf Today Report

Kuwait's new ruler, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad al-Sabah, took the oath of office in parliament on Wednesday, pledging to work for the Gulf Arab state's prosperity and stability and calling for uniting ranks in the face of challenges.

Kuwait's Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad al-Sabah was named Emir by the country's cabinet to succeed his brother Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah who died on Tuesday.

Under the Gulf Arab state's constitution the crown prince automatically becomes emir and assumes power after taking oath in parliament.

Sheikh Nawaf is the half brother of Sheikh Sabah.

The Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, 83, stepped in as partial ruler as soon as the palace announced the demise of Sheikh Sabah.

The 83-year-old Sheikh Nawaf is an elder statesman who has held high office for decades including the defence and interior ministries.

Kuwait-Nuwaf Sheikh Sabah with Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad during the opening ceremony of the new legislative year. File/ AFP

Sheikh Nawaf assumed the post of Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, which he held until 1992.

Sheikh Nawaf also held the post of the deputy chief of the National Guard between 1994 and 2003.

Sheikh Nawaf played an active role in maintaining the stability and security in the Gulf.

There was no immediate official announcement of the succession process but diplomats have said they expect Sheikh Nawaf to assume power as heir in a smooth transition.

A succession is not expected to affect oil policy or foreign investment strategy through the Kuwait Investment Authority, one of the world's biggest sovereign wealth funds. Oil policy is set by the Supreme Petroleum Council, appointed by the emir.

The new emir's choice of crown prince and prime minister — who would be tasked with managing the government's often difficult relationship with parliament —- will be watched closely.

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