Sunday, January 29, 2006
Kuwait officially has has a new emir, as former Prime Minister Shaykh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah has taken the oath of office. As noted previously, given his active role in running the country in recent years, Kuwait will probably continue on its present course of liberalism and pro-Americanism, a rather rare combination in the Arab world. Liberal MP's are calling for a new heir to be named swiftly, which shows the obvious continuing importance of the royal family, but even on that score it's worth noting that no one seems afraid of the new ruler's choice. An important sign will be whether he appoints separate people to be Crown Prince and Prime Minister. These two offices used to be joined, and were separated only when Sa'ad became too ill to function. My bet would be that their division will become permanent.