Prime minister becomes Kuwaiti emir

Jan. 24, 2006 at 10:42 PM

KUWAIT CITY, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The Kuwaiti Cabinet and parliament approved Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah on Tuesday as the country's new emir.

Sabah al-Ahmad, the half-brother of the late Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad, is the first person to become ruler of a Gulf State through constitutional means, the BBC said. He has been effectively running the country for several years during his brother's illness.

Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah became emir nine days ago when Jaber al-Ahmad died. But he is also in ill health.

The succession threatened to create a nasty feud between the two branches of the ruling family, which alternate as emir under an agreement cobbled out a century ago. Members of parliament were also reluctant to oust Saad al-Abdullah, who remains popular because of his actions after the Iraqi invasion.

Saad al-Abdullah resolved the crisis by sending the Cabinet a letter announcing his abdication.

Kuwait has 10 percent of the world's proven oil reserves, giving the emirate an importance out of proportion to its size.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Vatican: Pope's meeting with Kim Davis not a show of support
Potential male contraceptive found in study with mice
Cancer and height are linked, new study shows
Hacker may have exposed data of 15 million T-Mobile customers
Education Secretary Arne Duncan to step down in December