Kuwait’s crown prince has been asked to temporarily carry out some of Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed al-Sabah’s constitutional duties, according to state news agency KUNA, citing an Emiri decree.
Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah, also in his 80s, is the emir’s half brother and his designated successor, appointed when Sheikh Nawaf took power a little more than a year ago.
KUNA provided no additional information, including on the emir’s health, which appeared frail in his last public appearance in late October, when he briefly addressed parliament. He had medical check-ups in July.
Sheikh Nawaf, 84, took over as ruler of the OPEC oil producer and US ally after his brother, who had ruled for more than a decade, died in September 2020. The crown prince is the emir of Kuwait by default, according to the country’s constitution.
Sheikh Nawaf accepted the government’s resignation on Sunday, putting an end to a standoff with opposition lawmakers who insisted on questioning the prime minister despite a March motion granting him temporary immunity.
The emir has yet to name a premier to form a new cabinet, which would be the country’s third this year, at a time when it is pursuing fiscal reform and attempting to shore up finances that were severely strained last year by low oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic.
In another step toward domestic political reconciliation, the emir issued an amnesty sought by opposition lawmakers, pardoning political dissidents, including former MPs living in self-exile abroad.