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Emir of Qatar hands over power


June 25, 2013 12:08 by

In a speech aired on Tuesday morning, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani announced that he would be handing over power to his son, Sheikh Tamim, making the 33-year-old crown prince the state’s youngest to rule.

“I am fully confident that he is qualified for the responsibility and is trustworthy,” he said, during his seven-minute broadcast on Qatari television, adding that it was time for a new generation to take over, following his 18 years of ruling the small, oil-rich state.

“Our youth have proved in recent years that they are resolute people, that they comprehend the spirit of the times and participate in it,” he added.

Rumours had been circulating for days that Sheikh Tamim, 33, was preparing to succeed his
61-year-old father.

The emir did not specify when this change would take effect, nor did he mention whether Qatar’s prime minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim, – who was also expected to be stepping down – would be following suit.

This ‘dramatic’ step, as reported by Reuters, is unheard of in a region where rulers normally remain in power for life. Kristian Ulrichsen, a Gulf expert at The Baker Insitute for Public Policy, said this handover cements Qatar’s standing as “the great regional maverick”.

During the brief broadcast on national television, the emir also said that he had never sought power for personal gain, but for “the good of the nation”.


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