Monday, July 14, 2003

Gulf News today reports that the Emir of Kuwait, Jaber al-Ahmed as-Sabah, has named a new Prime Minister, and in a break with tradition it is not the Crown Prince, Shaykh Saad al-Abdullah as-Sabah, but the emir's brother, Shaykh Sabah al-Ahmed as-Sabah, the former Foreign Minister. This may not seem terribly important, as power remains in the hands of the royal family, but separating the two posts has been a key demand of reformers, as the Crown Prince is considered above criticism, and people wish the right to criticize the Prime Minister. Of course, the fact that something this minor is heralded as a major reform probably says something about the present state of democracy in Kuwait.


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