Friday, June 07, 2013

Rumors of Prime Minister Tamim

Rumors have Emir Hamad of Qatar making his son prime minister:
Now there is talk that the emir, who ousted his father in a coup 18 years ago, may hand effective power to his 33-year-old son, Crown Prince Tamim. One of 24 siblings, he already features more prominently in the official press than his cousin the prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani. Some say the younger man may take over as premier. Others suggest the emir may formally abdicate, allowing for a constitutional succession.
It is uncertain what difference Tamim would make if he took over. Most of the other monarchs in the Gulf have frowned on the emir’s fondness for the Muslim Brotherhood, which most of them regard as a menace. Qataris who know the Sandhurst-educated prince think he may be more Islamist than the prime minister. His most public act to date has been to switch the main language of tuition at Qatar University from English to Arabic. Behind the scenes he is said to be trying to boost the Muslim Brothers in Libya. Do not expect a sudden drive to democracy.
Obviously, democracy isn't in the cards.  The most likely motive for such a change would be for the emir to consolidate power within his own lineage and set up his son as a successor.  From 1996 until 2007, Qatar's prime minister was Emir Hamad's half brother.  The current prime minister is a distant cousin.



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