Kuwait parliament endorses Sheikh Meshal as crown prince

Parliament endorses Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad as crown prince, a day after new emir named him.

KUWAIT - Kuwait's parliament unanimously voted on Thursday to endorse veteran security chief Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad as crown prince after the new emir named him on Wednesday, the parliament said on Twitter.

Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah assumed power as emir following the death of his brother Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad last week, at a time of tension between Kuwait's larger neighbours Saudi Arabia and Iran and as the government tries to shore up finances strained by low oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diplomats and analysts say that because of his low-key style and age, Emir Sheikh Nawaf, 83, may delegate a larger portion of responsibilities to the crown prince.

Octogenarian Sheikh Meshal, a brother of the late emir, became deputy head of the National Guard in 2004 and previously served as head of State Security for 13 years.

Experts on Kuwait said he had in the past declined offers of senior positions, steering clear of political battles and public-facing roles.

Kuwait is due to hold a parliamentary election this year.