A new ruler took power peacefully in the Arabian Gulf state of Qater on Tuesday (Feb 22).
A new ruler took power peacefully in the Arabian Gulf state of Qater on Tuesday (Feb 22). The new Emir, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al-Thani, said in a broadcast statement that he assumed power to halt deteriorating conditions in the oil-rich State and remove elements which tried to hinder modernisation.
Sheikh Khalifa took power while the previous Emir, his cousin, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Ali Al-Thani, was on a hunting holiday in Iraq. The new ruler promised enlightened rule, social justice and stability.
The take-over was announced on Radio Qatar at 9 a.m. and cameraman Salah Amer went through the streets of the capital, Doha, one hour later and shot film showing that life carried on as usual.
SYNOPSIS: The Television studio building in the Arabian Gulf state of Qatar, where the new Emir, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al-Thani, went on Tuesday evening to broadcast to the people after his peaceful assumption of power.
The coup was announced on Radio Qatar at 9 o'clock on Tuesday morning, while the former Emir, Shikh Khalifa's cousin, sheikh Ahmed bin Ali Al-Thani, was on a hunting holiday in Iran.
The new ruler said he had taken power to halt deteriorating conditions and remove elements which tried to hinder modernisation. He said that as Deputy Ruler and heir apparent he had tried to dissuade an irresponsible element which made fortunes at the people's expense. He promised social justice and stability.
Earlier in the day life in the capital, Doha, went on as usual after the coup was announced. Air and sea ports were closed and the borders sealed, but within the oil-rich State the announcement caused no interruption of normal business. There was no curfew. Radio Qatar broadcast national songs and military music instead of usual programmes.
Later, several decrees were issued, giving Government employees and members of the armed forces salary increases of 20 percent, and cancelling outstanding payments due on the State's Popular Housing Scheme. The ousted ruler, Sheikh Ahmed, became Emir in 1960, and declared Independence, last September, scrapping arrangements under which Britain was responsible for external affairs and defence. A Treaty of Friendship with Britain was signed later. Observers in Teheran reportedly foresaw no policy change in Qatar.