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