For Kuwait's next ruler, family peace most urgent priority
- IPL spot-fixing case: Net widens, police watching 3 more players, other bookies
- IPL 2013: Imperious Brad Hodge powers Rajasthan Royals to qualifier
- Sonia Gandhi, PM Manmohan Singh slam BJP for disrupting Parliament, stalling bills
- IPL spot-fixing: 'Bookie' Vindoo was close to BCCI chief's son-in-law, say cops
- Jessica Lall case: Shayan Munshi to face perjury trial
When Kuwait's next ruler takes power he will need to reassure competing factions in the Al-Sabah dynasty that he is protecting their interests and maintaining stability, making progress toward democratic reforms unlikely, at least at the beginning.
Current ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, 83, has resisted opposition demands for more policy-making authority in an increasingly assertive parliament, which he has dissolved several times.
Designated successor Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the emir's 75-year-old brother, will face the same pressures.
But with hundreds of senior Al-Sabah family members jostling for position and a rift between the two most powerful branches simmering beneath the surface, ensuring family unity will be the most urgent challenge.
Forging a consensus will not be easy, said Kristian Ulrichsen, research fellow on Gulf States at the London School of Economics.
Any Kuwaiti leader will have two problems which are interconnected. One is to manage the inter-family factions and the other is to manage the relationship between the government and the parliament, the government basically being the family.
Bills and the budget are approved by Kuwait's elected parliament, but the top government posts are held by Al-Sabah family members. They also have senior roles in the National Guard, diplomatic corps, investment bodies and state companies.
Approved by parliament, Sheikh Nawaf is on course for an orderly succession when the time comes. The current emir, who had a pacemaker installed in 1999, travels frequently, and both he and the crown prince appear to be in good health.
Whatever happens in Kuwait, a major U.S. ally, will have implications for other monarchies in the region which also face pressure for political change in the wake of last year's uprisings across the Arab world.
The tiny Gulf state is one of the richest in the world per capita thanks to its oil wealth and a small population of around 1.2 million nationals, who receive generous benefits, and some 2.4 million foreign workers.
- Fixing probe now reaches Bollywood, son of Dara Singh held
- BCCI cashes Pune Warriors guarantee, 'disgusted' Sahara walks out of IPL
- Sreesanth spent Rs 1.95L on clothes, bought friend BlackBerry, paid in cash: Police
- Delhi firm with MoD as client is linked to Pak cyberattacks
- After Infosys, iGATE sacks Phaneesh Murthy for sexual misconduct
- 2 weeks after harassment, Haryana schoolgirls return, cops in tow