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Chan'ad Bahraini

(Scomberomorous maculatus Bahrainius)

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Who succeeds Zayed?

Monday, October 25, 2004

The commenter from Dubai who initially informed me about the rumours that Sheikh Zayed (President of the UAE) is in a coma sent me an article that provides some more information about the rumour, and the ramifications it may have. Here is an excerpt (from Stratfor via TUNEeZINE):

A Persian Gulf-based source told Stratfor late Oct. 14 that unconfirmed reports were circulating of the death - or near death - of United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan. The sources said Sheikh Zayed had been taken to a London hospital because of failing health. The source also suggested the president’s entourage could be keeping his death a secret in order to claim the president died Oct. 15 - during the holy month of Ramadan. The consensus from various sources, however, is that the monarch is extremely ill and that discussions pertaining to succession have begun among his family in Abu Dhabi and the rulers of the six other emirates that make up the UAE federation.

Given the Islamic religious culture in the Arabian Peninsula, which calls for a quick burial of the deceased, it is likely Sheikh Zayed clings to life and that rumors of his death began to circulate after his physician intimated the president had very little time to live. Sheikh Zayed’s son, the crown prince of the largest emirate of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, will succeed him as ruler of Abu Dhabi - and is expected to succeed him as UAE president. It is possible, however, that the presidential transition will not go as smoothly as the informal succession plan would suggest. Two of Sheikh Zayed’s other sons, who are half-brothers - or even an outsider - could vie for the presidency. (Continued)

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