On Wednesday, Kuwaiti emir names, Sheikh Nawaf, appointed as Crown Prince his half-brother Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah. A long-serving top security officer.
Since 2004, Sheikh Meshal, 80, has been deputy chief of the Kuwait National Guard. Largely staying out of the political scene and away from royal family disputes.
Kuwaiti emir names
The ruling Sabah family “blessed” the decision of 83-year-old Sheikh Nawaf, the official Kuwait News Agency said on Wednesday. This is a day before a parliamentary session to authorize the election.
Andreas Krieg of King’s College London tweeted, “The new crown prince (if confirmed by parliament) is more of a running mate for Sheikh Nawaf rather than an investment in the future of Kuwait.”
The ruling family has been flaunting its divisions in recent years. Coupled with lurid allegations of corruption and political conspiracies levied against others by some of its members.
Unlike other Gulf states, Kuwait has a vibrant political life with an elected parliament that is able to vote ministers out of office. Not only, also enjoys strong legislative powers. Sometimes, political rows erupt into the open.
After the death of his half-brother, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. He died at the age of 91 after two months in a hospital in the US. Sheikh Nawaf was sworn in on September 30.
The succession comes at a time when, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. The oil-rich nation is grappling with the hot issues of whether to maintain relations with Israel. And how to respond to a downturn in oil prices.
The seventh son of the 10th emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah, is Sheikh Meshal. He who was close to the late ruler and accompanied him to the US where he received treatment.
He is known to be the most strong man in the National Guard. An elite corps responsible for protecting the land of the emirates.
Salem al-Ali Al-Sabah, the eldest member of the Sabah ruling family, symbolically holds the position of leader.
Cinzia Bianco, a research fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. He said that “Meshal is seen as part of the security establishment”. And does does not have good relations with Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Certainly similar than any other candidate to Saudi Arabia. And also, the United Arab Emirates than to Iran.
Kuwait has long balanced ties with regional arch-rivals Riyadh and Tehran.
It has also played a mediating role in a diplomatic dispute between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours after Saudi Arabia. The UAE and Bahrain broke ties with Doha in 2017 over charges it supports extremists.
Sheikh Meshal spent several years in the Ministry of the Interior. This where from 1967 to 1980 he rose through the ranks to lead the General Investigation Department. And was credited with improving its role as a State Security Agency.
He traveled abroad in 2016 and underwent a “successful operation” but there was no publication of specifics of the procedure.