As the eldest son of Sultan Haitham, Dhi Yazan bin Haitham is the first to succeed his father under the new “Basic Law”.
The eldest son of the Sultan of Oman on Tuesday became the first crown prince in the country’s history when the Gulf state issued a new “basic law” stipulating the line of succession.
On Monday, Sultan Haïtham bin Tariq Al Said issued a decree setting out a “specific and stable mechanism” of succession, providing for the appointment of a crown prince for the first time.
Tuesday’s announcement, made via the government’s communications office Twitter account, did not mention the crown prince’s name. But Sultan Haitham’s eldest son is Dhi Yazan bin Haitham, currently Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth.
Under Article 5 of the new Basic Law, the Sultan’s throne “is passed on to the eldest of his sons, then to the eldest of the latter’s sons, etc.”
Sultan Haitham ascended to the throne last January after the death of his cousin Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, who has not fathered any children and has not publicly named a successor during his 49-year reign.
Haiti’s decision to appoint a crown prince could increase the predictability of Omani politics, after the final years of Qaboos’ reign, when the secrecy of the succession raised stability concerns.
Under the constitution of Oman, the Sultan must be a member of the royal family, as well as “Muslim, mature, rational and the legitimate son of Omani Muslim parents”.
Qaboos, who seized power by toppling his father, named his cousin Haitham as his preferred successor in a sealed envelope to be opened after his death if the royal family disagreed on the line of succession. The family made their choice.