Kuwaiti National Assembly (parliament) has approved Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as crown prince, Kuwait News Agency said Thursday.
Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah assumed power as emir following the death of his brother Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad recently, at a time of tension between Kuwait’s larger neighbours Saudi Arabia and Iran.
This is as the government tries to shore up finances strained by low oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Diplomats and analysts say because of his low-key style and age, Emir Sheikh Nawaf, 83, may delegate a larger portion of responsibilities to the crown prince.
Octogenarian Sheikh Mishaal, a brother of the late emir, became deputy head of the National Guard in 2004 and previously served as head of State Security for 13 years.
Experts on Kuwait said he had in the past declined offers of senior positions, steering clear of political battles and public-facing roles.
Sheikh Mishaal’s rise stands in contrast to some other Gulf States, most notably neighbour Saudi Arabia, where ruling families are starting to give top jobs to younger princes.
Kuwait is due to hold a parliamentary election this year.
Sheikh Mishaal is a son of Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and paternal brother of Emir of Kuwait Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
He studied at the Hendon Police College, where he graduated in 1960.
He later served as the head of State Security from 1967 to 1980.
Afterwards, he worked in the Ministry of Interior until he became the Deputy Chief of the National Guard with the rank of acting Minister (by protocol designation) in 2004.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Abdulfatah Babatunde