Kuwait Emir Nawaf Al Sabah names Sheikh Meshal as new crown prince - GulfToday

Kuwait Emir Nawaf Al Sabah names Sheikh Meshal as new crown prince

emir

Sheikh Mishaal Al Ahmad Al Jabaer Al Sabah. File photo

Kuwait's new Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah on Wednesday named Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmad, deputy head of the country's National Guard, as crown prince.

The selection of Sheikh Meshal, which must be approved by the Gulf Arab state's parliament, "was blessed by the Al Sabah family," state news agency KUNA cited a statement from the emir's office as saying.

Sheikh Nawaf assumed power following the death of his brother Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad last week.

Diplomats and analysts say that due to his low-key style and age, Sheikh Nawaf, 83, may delegate a larger portion of responsibilities to his heir apparent, who would have to act swiftly to tackle domestic issues.

kuwait-emir Kuwait's Emir Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah takes the oath of office at the parliament. File/Reuters

The country's parliament speaker has said if the emir announces a crown prince on Wednesday, then lawmakers would vote on his choice on Thursday, the last day of parliament's term.

Close to the late emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad and new ruler Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad, Kuwait experts say, he is expected to help guide state affairs in the US-allied OPEC member state.

"The emir will listen to his views, he will have an impact in that way," said Kuwaiti political scientist and former UN envoy Ghanim Alnajjar. "His focus will be security, the judiciary and other domestic issues."

emir1 Kuwait's Emir Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah meets with Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah. Reuters

Sheikh Meshal, 80, has been deputy chief of the National Guard since 2004 and was head of State Security for 13 years after joining the interior ministry in the 1960s. He had been offered several senior positions in the past but declined them, the experts say.

Sheikh Meshal, who attended Britain's Hendon Police College, was credited with helping to reform Kuwait's National Guard, and Kuwaiti journalist Faisal Al Qanae once described him as the "biggest enemy" of cronyism and lawbreaking.

 Agencies

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