Oman gets its first crown prince under new laws

Oman to get its first crown prince under new laws
2 min read
11 January, 2021
Oman's sultan announced on Monday a constitutional shakeup that includes the appointment of a crown prince for the first time and new rules on how parliament will work.
Oman's sultan announces a constitutional shakeup that includes the appointment of a crown prince [Getty]
Oman's sultan has issued a new law on the appointment of a crown prince for the first time in the country's history, aimed at creating a more "specific and stable" transfer of power, according to a royal decree.

Sultan Haitham bin Tariq issued two royal decrees on Monday, one for the parliament - known as the Shura Council - and one for a new succession mechanism, state television reported. 

"The most significant (element)... is establishing a specific and stable mechanism for transfer of the governing authority and a mechanism to appoint a crown prince," said a royal decree read on state TV.

According to the Omani constitution, the royal family must determine the sultan's successor within three days of the throne falling vacant.

If the family does not agree on a name, a person chosen by the sultan will be named.

The sultan should be a member of the royal family, as well as "Muslim, mature, rational and the legitimate son of Omani Muslim parents".

Sultan Haitham ascended to the throne last January after the death of his cousin, Sultan Qaboos, modern Oman's founding father.

Qaboos was unmarried and had no heir, meaning that the succession was decided in a meeting of the royal family who opted to open the sealed letter he had prepared, detailing his preference.

The new royal ruler is married and has four children, two boys and two girls, according to Omani media.

Qaboos transformed the former Arabian Peninsula backwater into a modern nation with a staunch policy of neutrality and non-interference that won it respect in the region and beyond.

Sultan Haitham has made several changes since he came to power one year ago.

On Monday, the Central Bank of Oman issued new banknotes bearing the face of Sultan Haitham.

The release of the 20 rial, 10 rial, five rial, one rial, half-a-rial and 100 baisa notes completes a whole new set of notes that began with a commemorative 50 rial note released in July 2020.

The 50 rial note bears the face of the late Sultan Qaboos, while the 20, 10 and five rial notes feature his successor Sultan Haitham.

They also show a variety of landmarks including Jebel Akhdar and Sultan Qaboos University.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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