Al-Ahram Weekly Online   9 - 15 February 2006
Issue No. 781
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

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Nasser; Nawaf

EMIR Sheik Sabah Al Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah appointed his 68-year-old brother as the new crown prince and successor to the throne.

The brother, Sheik Nawwaf Al Ahmed Al Sabah, had been interior minister and deputy prime minister in the Cabinet that resigned Jan. 30, the day after the new emir ascended the throne. The crown prince designate had also served as a governor, defense minister, minister of social affairs and labor, and deputy head of the national guards.

Sheik Nasser Al Mohammed Al Sabah, 65, was appointed prime minister and directed to form a new government. He had served as minister to the court of the late emir, minister of information and an ambassador to Iran.

Sheik Nawwaf must be approved by Parliament. No date has been set for a vote. The appointments mean that the new emir has decided to keep the jobs of crown prince and prime minister separated. When the former emir separated the jobs in 2003 because the crown prince was ill, the move was hailed as a step toward greater democracy.

Sheik Sabah, 76, became emir Jan. 29, in the first and key step to ending the leadership struggle that broke out within the ruling family after Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah died Jan. 15, leaving an ailing crown prince as his successor.

That prompted the legislature for the first time in Kuwaiti history to invoke a 1964 succession law and remove the emir from power after hearing medical testimony that he was unable to carry out his duties.

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