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Kuwait's ruler hands some duties to Crown Prince – decree

KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT - OCTOBER 08: The new Kuwaiti crown prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah gestures as he takes the oath at the parliament on October 8, 2020 in Kuwait City. Sheikh Meshal, 80, has been deputy chief of the Kuwait National Guard since 2004, largely staying out of the political scene and away from disputes within the royal family. ( Jaber Abdulkhaleg - Anadolu Agency )
The new Kuwaiti crown prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah gestures as he takes the oath at the parliament on October 8, 2020 in Kuwait City [Jaber Abdulkhaleg - Anadolu Agency]

Kuwait's Crown Prince has been asked to carry out some of Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah's constitutional duties on a temporary basis, state news agency, KUNA. said on Monday, citing an Emiri decree.

Crown Prince, Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, also in his 80s, is half brother of the Emir and his designated successor, appointed when Sheikh Nawaf assumed power just over a year ago.

KUNA gave no further details, including on the health of the Emir, who looked frail in his last public appearance in late October when he briefly addressed parliament. In July, he underwent medical check-ups.

Sheikh Nawaf, 84, became ruler of the OPEC oil producer and US ally after the death, in September 2020, of his brother, who had ruled for more than a decade. Under Kuwait's constitution, the Crown Prince automatically becomes Emir.

READ: Kuwait's emir pardons and reduces sentences of 35 dissidents

On Sunday, Sheikh Nawaf accepted the government's resignation as part of efforts to end a standoff with opposition lawmakers who had insisted on questioning the prime minister,r despite a March motion granting him temporary immunity.

The Emir has yet to name a premier to form a new cabinet, which would be the country's third this year, at a time when it is pursuing fiscal reform and trying to bolster finances hit hard last year by low oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic.

In another move to advance domestic political detente, the Emir issued an amnesty sought by opposition lawmakers pardoning political dissidents, including former MPs in self-exile abroad.

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