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Is Qatar poised for a leadership change?

Expectations that Qatar is poised for a leadership overhaul continue to rise. For months, GSN has been hearing rumours the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani is planning to abdicate in favour of his son, heir apparent Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani (GSN 946/1); in recent weeks, these have been augmented by suggestions of a top-to-bottom reshuffle of the cabinet, that could also see prime minister and foreign minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al-Thani (HBJ) leave office.
Such rumours are notoriously difficult to verify. Even well-placed contacts are largely reliant on hearsay, so tight-lipped are the authorities. Some of GSN’s sources in Qatar suggest senior officials expect an announcement later in June, ahead of the start of Ramadan, and have put any leave on hold.

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