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Emir of Qatar 'to hand over power' to son

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Emir of Qatar 'to hand over power' to son


Qatar is to have a new leader, say reports from the Gulf state. The emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, is to hand over power to his son, Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim.

An announcement is expected on Tuesday which has been declared a national holiday.

Major changes are not expected but the move still represents a radical break from tradition, as rulers usually die in office.

It is thought the emir’s 33-year-old successor may focus more on domestic issues rather than regional interventions. Qatar has backed Arab Spring revolts and rebel groups in Syria.

Despite its small size, Qatar is a major gas exporter, a global financial centre and is due to stage the 2022 football World Cup.

But the country has been criticised by human rights groups over a lack of reforms and for a labour system they say has led to the widespread abuse of workers.

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