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Kuwaiti cabinet says new leader can't rule

Published January 22nd, 2006 - 11:53 GMT

Kuwait's deep political crisis following last week's death of Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah continued on Sunday. Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah, as the crown prince, was named as new ruler. Saad has been ailing for years, and Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah was running the daily affairs of Kuwait. He agreed Friday to a request by ruling family members to take charge.


On Saturday, the Kuwaiti cabinet decided in its extraordinary meeting to resort to article three of the law for the succession of Emirate leadership relevant to the conditions required for the Amir to carry out his prerogatives under the constitution. Speaking following the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Mohammed Dhaifallah Sharar said the Cabinet "expressed its deep concern over the health situation of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, and prayed that Almighty Allah would bestow health upon him."


According to Kuna, the third article stipulates that in order for the Amir to assume his prerogatives under the constitution, he must fulfill all conditions required for the position of Crown Prince. It adds that if the Amir fails to meet any of these conditions, or is incapable of carrying out his prerogatives for health reasons, the Cabinet - after establishing this - must present the issue before the National Assembly so as to be looked into in a special closed session.


Furthermore, it says that if the National Assembly ascertains that any of the above mentioned conditions and capabilities are not met, it shall decide with a majority of two thirds to transfer the Amir's prerogatives to the Crown Prince temporarily, or transfer state leadership to him permanently.


Sheikh Saad was born in 1930. He is the eldest son of the late Sheikh Abdallah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, former Amir of Kuwait. On January 31, 1978, he was appointed as the Crown Prince of Kuwait. From February 1978 to July 2003 Sheikh Saad was Kuwait's Prime Minister.

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