Oman sultan issues new law of succession
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.
"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 a sultan's successor within three days of the throne falling vacant.
If the family does not agree on a successor, 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".
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, but has vowed to maintain the sultanate's policy of neutrality and non-interference.