New Qatari emir expected to shake up government

Published June 26th, 2013 - 06:14 GMT
The new Emir of Qatar, 33-year-old Sheikh Tamim, shakes hands with his subjects as they swear allegiance to him on Tuesday. (AFP/Qatar TV)
The new Emir of Qatar, 33-year-old Sheikh Tamim, shakes hands with his subjects as they swear allegiance to him on Tuesday. (AFP/Qatar TV)

Qatar’s new emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, will address the nation on Wednesday, when he will enthroned as head of state of the emirate and announce a government reshuffle, an Al Arabiya correspondent reported.

Official sources have told Al Arabiya that the new emir will implement ministerial changes, that could lead to the departure of Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, who has held the post since 2007.

The post could go to Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser al-Thani, currently a state minister for internal affairs, or to deputy premier Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmoud, according to speculation in Doha, AFP news agency reports.

If appointed, Mahmoud would be the first prime minister in the Arab states of the Gulf from outside a ruling family.

Sources also told Al Arabiya that a new minister of foreign affairs will be appointed.

On Tuesday, Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani announced in a televised live address to the nation that he will transfer power to his son Sheikh Tamim.

In a speech broadcast on Qatar state television, Sheikh Hamad, 62, said it was time for “a new generation to take over.” But he made no direct mention of Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, who had been widely expected to also step down.

“God knows that I didn't want power in itself and I didn't seek it for personal reason,” said the emir, who overthrew his father in a bloodless coup in 1995.


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