Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani has decided to transfer power to his son Sheikh Tamim following a meeting with the ruling family on Monday, the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera television reported on Monday.
The television reported that Sheikh Hamad, 62, met with the “people of solution and contract” and decided to concede leadership to his son Tamim.
Sheikh Hamad will deliver a speech to the nation on Tuesday to announce his decision, the television reported.
Diplomats said earlier this month that an orderly transfer of power, which would also include the powerful prime minister stepping down, was being considered, according to Reuters.
Quoting Qatari diplomats AFP had reported on June 15 that Sheikh Hamad was preparing to hand over power in the gas-rich Gulf state to his son.
A cabinet reshuffle is also expected in which powerful Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani may lose his post, or at least the foreign affairs portfolio, the sources told AFP.
The emir “is convinced that he should encourage the new generation” of politicians and rulers, the source added.
“He hopes to transfer power to the crown prince, Sheikh Tamim (bin Hamad al-Thani), and to carry out a ministerial reshuffle” and appoint younger ministers, AFP reported, quoting an official.
Sheikh Tamim was born in 1980 and is the second son of the emir and his second wife Sheikha Mozah.
A French diplomatic source told AFP that the emir could “take a step back, that is, not completely retire but take on a more honorary position, in such a way that his son could take on more responsibilities and become the man in charge.”
“This change could come quite quickly, after (French) President Francois Hollande’s visit” to Qatar on June 22, the source added.
Sheikh Hamad has earned the tiny Gulf state a major international profile, playing a key role in the revolutions that ousted former Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi and Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak.
He has also offered strong backing of the Syrian opposition.