File Photo: The new Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, recites the constitutional oath at the Kuwaiti National Assembly on September 30, 2020. AP
The brief statement published by the state-run KUNA news agency said only that the government had issued an order for the crown prince to assume some duties of the 84-year-old ruling emir Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah. In the past, the royal office has made the move due to a ruler's poor health.
Last year, when the late Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah underwent surgery, the oil-rich nation's crown prince took on some of his powers temporarily. Kuwait's Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Given Sheikh Nawaf's age, the move raises concerns about his health. State-run news previously reported that he traveled to the United States for unspecified medical checks in March. The health of Kuwait's leaders remains a sensitive matter in the tiny Mideast nation that has seen internal power struggles behind palace doors.
The decree comes at a delicate time for the sheikhdom. The government resigned last week as tensions escalated between the Parliament and Cabinet. The emir issued a long-awaited pardon for scores of self-exiled dissidents.