Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed al-Sabah took over some of the ruler’s constitutional duties on Saturday temporarily.
According to an official statement, Kuwait’s 91-year old Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah underwent successful surgery on Sunday morning, after having been admitted to hospital on Saturday for medical checks.
The state-run KUNA news agency, Sheikh Sabah’s hospitalization Saturday as “medical checks,” citing a statement from the country’s royal court.
Several hours later, KUNA published a second report saying that 83-year-old Crown Prince Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah had assumed some of Sheikh Sabah’s powers temporarily.
A copy of the ministerial decree posted by Kuwait’s official gazette, Kuwait Al-Youm, said that the crown prince would be empowered for “the duration of a surgical procedure until the health event is over.”
Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah has ruled Kuwait since 2006.
In Kuwait’s existing system, emir plays a key role and has wide powers that guarantee the political, economic, and security stability of the country.
However, the ruler’s health condition comes in difficult times as the state is going through a sensitive and complicated period in Kuwait because of the coronavirus pandemic, and as well as the financial and economic difficulties the country is facing due to the decline in oil prices.
After news of the emir’s hospitalization, Kuwait’s central bank governor issued a statement on Saturday, stressing the strength and stability of the dinar currency.
S&P Global Ratings on Friday revised Kuwait’s outlook to “negative” from “stable” saying it expects the country’s main liquidity buffer, the General Reserve Fund, to be insufficient to cover the state budget deficit.