Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah died on Saturday at the age of 86, ending one of Kuwait’s shortest reigns (lasting just three years).
Kuwait’s state television said the country’s Crown Prince Sheikh Meshaal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah was declared the emir of Kuwait, succeeding the late Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Isa al-Kandari announced in a statement today (Saturday) that Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Meshaal Al Ahmed Al Sabah has been declared the emir of the country. Successor to the late Emir. Sheikh Nawaf Ahmed Al Sabah.
The late prince was hospitalized in late November for what the official news agency said at the time was an urgent health problem, but said his condition was stable.
Sheikh Mishal, 83, has been considered Kuwait’s de facto ruler since 2021, when the emir authorized him to exercise most of the key constitutional responsibilities some 14 months after his appointment.
Prince Mishal is the half-brother of the late Prince Nawaf and the seventh son of the late Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
According to the official website of the Crown Prince’s Court, Sheikh Mishal is the brother of three former rulers of Kuwait: Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Jabir Bir Sabah and Sheikh Nawaf Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah.
Sheikh Mishal is considered the most powerful person in the National Guard, a military agency independent of the army and police that was established in 1967 to support the armed forces and public security agencies.
Sheikh Mishal has served as deputy captain of the National Guard at the ministerial level since 2004. He has not actually held any ministerial position in successive Kuwaiti governments.
Born in 1940, Sheikh Mishal is known for his love of hunting and overland travel, as well as his distance from politics and the conflicts between ruling family leaders in past years. He spent much of his career helping to build the country’s security and defense apparatus.
After joining the Interior Ministry in the 1960s, he served as director of the National Security Agency for about 13 years.
Sheikh Mishal, a 1960 graduate of Britain’s Hendon Police College, helped reform the National Guard. The late Kuwaiti journalist Faisal Qanai once described him as the “biggest enemy” of nepotism and illegality.
According to Reuters, the National Guard led by Sheikh Meshaal Al Sabah has played an important role in the government’s fight against the new coronavirus pandemic. The newspaper quoted Kuwaiti experts as saying that Sheikh Meshaal Al Sabah Bach had previously turned down senior positions offered to him and stayed away from political conflicts and public roles.
The new Emir of Kuwait was educated at Mubarakiya School, the first formal school in the country. He is married and has 5 male and 7 female children.
According to Kuwait’s constitution, the crown prince automatically becomes the emir, but he cannot take office until he is sworn in by the parliament.
Sheikh Mishal had 12 children and became the 17th ruler of Kuwait. He will have a year to name his crown prince, with speculation that he will choose one from the younger generation.
Badr Al-Seif, an assistant professor in the history department at Kuwait University, said the choice of crown prince will reflect “the internal dynamics of the ruling family. Whether or not Kuwait witnesses its first generational change in decades… the country will need to work on multiple Achievements at all levels.”
Badr Seif wrote on the website
Kuwait’s constitution stipulates that the emir must be a descendant of the country’s founder, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah. Traditionally, the Al-Salem and Al-Jaber branches of the family have alternated in power, but this tradition has not been repeated in the past decade, as Sheikh Sabah, Sheikh Nawaf and Sheikh Mishal all belong to the Al-Jaber branch.