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Oman moves ahead with overdue reforms

Oman's leadership pushes ahead with reforms, cornered by the COVID-19 crisis and long-standing weaknesses in the local economy. Activists call for a constitutional monarchy.
Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq meets with US Secretary of State at al-Alam palace in the capital Muscat on February 21, 2020. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Middle East’s only sultanate has moved a step further into closer conformity with its neighbors' political systems by designating its first crown prince, the ruler’s oldest son.

Bloomberg columnist Bobby Ghosh had previously said that Oman had “strangest system of royal succession conceived in modern times” — the previous sultan, Qaboos bin Said Al Said, had named a cousin as his successor in a sealed envelope opened after Qaboos' death a year ago. Qaboos had no children or brothers. Now, Dhi Yazan Bin Haitham, the oldest son of Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, is the crown prince.

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