Kuwait has named their new crown prince as veteran security chief Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad. The Emir’s office made the announcement on Wednesday, 7 October.
Lawmakers – on the last day of parliament’s term – will vote on whether to accept Meshal as the heir tomorrow.
He is the younger half-brother of reigning Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, 83, meaning the power will stay with the current ruling family.Embed from Getty Images
State news agency KUNA said that the Emir’s office said the selection of Meshal “was blessed by the Al-Sabah family.” Two members of the ruling family have already pledged allegiance to the nominated crown prince via Twitter.
Analysts on the Middle East believe the Emir will have to hand over some of his power to his brother because of his age and low-key style. The new heir apparent is believed to be able to act quickly on decisive issues in a turbulent region that has seen growing tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Sheikh Meshal served as the Head of the State Security for 13 years. He also worked in the Ministry of Interior before becoming the Deputy Head of the National Guard in 2004.
Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad has two wives (Nuria Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah and Munira Badah Al-Mutairi) and twelve sons.
Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah became the Emir of Kuwait upon the death of his and Meshal’s older brother, the late emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, on 29 September. The late ruler had been hospitalised in the US for an undisclosed illness and was accompanied by the new crown prince during his time in the US.