Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah has been sworn in at parliament as Kuwait’s new Emir as the country prepares to lay his half-brother the late Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah to rest. According to the constitution of Kuwait, the Crown Prince automatically becomes Emir, and he assumes power after taking oath in parliament.
The late Emir’s body is due to arrive in Kuwait today from the United States where he had been hospitalised since July. The funeral will be restricted to family members only due to the coronavirus measures.
The new Emir said, “Our dear nation today faces difficult situations and dangerous challenges that can only be overcome … by unifying ranks and working hard together,” as parliament applauded him.
Sheikh Nawaf was named Crown Prince in 2006, breaking with the tradition which states that the offices of Emir and Crown Prince alternate between the Al-Jaber and Al-Salem branches. A new Crown Prince is expected to be named within a year of the new Emir’s accession.
Sheikh Nawaf served as Kuwait’s defence minister until the invasion of the country by Saddam Hussein. After the liberation, he became the acting Minister of Labour and Social Affairs before being appointed as Deputy Chief of the Kuwait National Guard. He held that post until 2003 when he became the First Deputy Prime Minister of Kuwait and Minister of the Interior.