Sayyid Dhi Yazan is to be Oman’s crown prince, based on newly-approved mechanism

Sayyid Dhi Yazan is to be Oman’s crown prince, based on newly-approved mechanism
Wednesday 13/01/2021
In his capacity as minister of culture, sports and youth, Sayyid Dhi Yazan bin Haitham attends the Sultan Qaboos fooball Cup final, a stadium west of the Omani capital Muscat, November 29, 2020. (AFP)
In his capacity as minister of culture, sports and youth, Sayyid Dhi Yazan bin Haitham attends the Sultan Qaboos fooball Cup final, a stadium west of the Omani capital Muscat, November 29, 2020. (AFP)

DUBAI – The new Basic Law of the Sultanate of Oman, published Tuesday in the country’s official gazette, stipulates that the power succession in the Gulf state is to go from the ruler to his eldest son, which makes Sayyid Dhi Yazan, the eldest son of Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, Oman’s crown prince.

The fifth paragraph of chapter one of the Basic Law states that “the system of government is sultanic and hereditary and goes to the male descendants of Sultan Turki bin Said bin Sultan, and that the rule is transferred from the sultan to his eldest son, then to the eldest son of this son, and so on.”

A royal order will be issued specifically appointing the person who is mandated to be the crown prince. The sultanic order will define the prerogatives and powers assigned to him. He will take the oath of office before the sultan and serve in his place if a “temporary impediment” prevents the sultan from exercising his duties.

Sayyid Dhi Yazan was born on August 21, 1990. He was appointed minister of culture, sports and youth on August 18, 2020.

His appointment in that position was considered an indication of Sultan Haitham’s desire to instill the the government institution with young blood, and work to form a solid core around him in preparation for future political stages.

The importance of the position where Sayyid Dhi Yazan was appointed then was that it combined part of the ministry of culture and heritage led by his father for years, and the ministry of youth, where the state is striving to make effective and decisive changes promoting youth and making more opportunities available to them.

Sayyid Dhi Yazan is a young diplomat who worked in the private royal office at the Omani Embassy in London for two years. And when Sultan Haitham assumed the throne, he was called upon to serve as a close assistant to his father, before being appointed minister.

On Monday, the Sultan of Oman announced a constitutional amendment that included naming a crown prince for the first time and setting new rules governing the work of Parliament.

Experts of Omani affairs believe that the decision to choose the crown prince was dictated by objective circumstances as it became difficult for the sultan to perform all tasks by himself, in addition to Sultan Haitham’s desire to widen the circle of participation in decision-making, even if gradually.

The new Basic Law, which was published on Tuesday in the official gazette, addressed all possible contingencies regarding the position of crown prince. It stipulated for instance that “if the eldest son dies before the mandate of heir apparent passes on to him, that position is transferred to his eldest son, even if the deceased has brothers.”

The Basic Law stated that if the person appointed to be crown prince “does not have children then the position passes on to the eldest of his brothers, and if he has no brothers then it passes on to the eldest child of his eldest brother, and if the eldest of his brothers does not have a son then to the eldest of his other brothers, according to the order of the age of the brothers ”.

While the members of the State Council are appointed by a royal decree, the Basic Law indicated that the members of the Shura Council would be elected by direct secret ballot and will represent the various provinces of the sultanate.

A decree issued on Monday had enacted a new law for Parliament, the two-chamber Oman Council. The decree includes “the powers of the council, the conditions for membership and all the rights and duties of the members in addition to regulating everything related to the council’s affairs.”