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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 January 2006, 10:20 GMT
Kuwait emir takes oath before MPs
Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad
Sheikh Sabah is seen as a reformist leader
Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah has been sworn in after his unanimous election by parliament as Kuwait's new ruler.

Sheikh Sabah, who has been prime minister since 2003, is the oil-rich Gulf state's third ruler in two weeks.

He succeeds Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah, who was removed by legislators on health grounds last Tuesday after just nine days in power.

The appointment brings to a close a leadership crisis which saw parliament take on an unprecedented role.

It was the first time a Gulf ruler had been deposed by an elected body.

Legislators voted 64-0 on Sunday morning to appoint Sheikh Sabah, who is in his mid-70s and served as foreign minister for 40 years.

Analysts say he is a reformist minded statesman who has pushed ahead with enfranchising women and economic liberalisation.

The confirmation brings to an end a succession struggle within the ruling al-Sabah family following the death of Emir Jaber al-Ahmad in January.

A BBC correspondent in the Gulf says Kuwaitis watched in amazement as members of the ruling al-Sabah family quarrelled about the succession.

The emirate controls about 10% of the world's proven oil reserves and is a key US ally in the region.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the swearing in of Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah



SEE ALSO:
Profile: Sheikh Sabah al-Sabah
24 Jan 06 |  Middle East
Kuwaiti MPs to confirm new emir
25 Jan 06 |  Middle East
Kuwait settles royal succession
24 Jan 06 |  Middle East
Kuwait showdown over sick emir
23 Jan 06 |  Middle East
Kuwait seeks power transfer to PM
21 Jan 06 |  Middle East
Conservatism threatens Kuwaiti reforms
21 Jan 06 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Country profile: Kuwait
20 Jan 06 |  Country profiles


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