As condolences from around the world continue to be received by Kuwait following the death of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah last week, Kuwaitis are awaiting the announcement of a new crown prince.
With the crown prince to become the deputy of the new monarch – 83-year-old Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah – and likely to become the next emir, the heir apparent is considered one of the most powerful political figures in the country.
The selection of the crown prince is therefore an important step, that signals, according to Gulf expert Courtney Freer, “the policy direction of the current emir”.
Under the Gulf state’s constitution, a new emir has a year to nominate a crown prince, who must then be approved by parliament.
But the decision has often been taken just weeks after the swearing-in of a new monarch.