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Bobby Ghosh

Oman Preempts Succession Drama By Naming Its First Crown Prince

The announcement of a royal successor should reassure Oman’s people, allies and foreign investors.

Dispensing with the drama.

Dispensing with the drama.

Photographer: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP

The strangest system of royal succession conceived in modern times has been consigned to the trash can after a single use. As part of a thoroughgoing constitutional overhaul announced by Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq on the first anniversary of his accession to the throne in Muscat, the country now has that standard appurtenance of every Arab palace: a crown prince.

The newly created role of formal heir apparent falls to Dhi Yazan bin Haitham, the sultan’s older son and the minister of culture, sport and youth. The royal decree, read on national TV on Monday, establishes “a specific and stable mechanism for the transfer of power in the sultanate, and the establishment of a mechanism for the appointment of the crown prince, clarification of his duties and powers, and reaffirmation of the principle of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary as a basis for rule.”