Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed elected UAE president

Published May 14, 2022
New UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. — Photo courtesy WAM
New UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. — Photo courtesy WAM

The UAE's long-time de facto ruler Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was elected as president on Saturday, official media said, a day after the death of former leader Sheikh Khalifa.

Sheikh Mohamed was elected by the Federal Supreme Council, WAM news agency said, becoming the ruler of the oil-rich country founded by his father in 1971.

Sheikh Mohamed, often known as 'MBZ', met members of the Federal Supreme Council, made up of rulers of the UAE's seven emirates, as the oil-rich country enters a period of mourning for his half-brother Sheikh Khalifa.

His ascension, which was widely expected, formalises his position as leader of the desert state of 10 million after years of calling the shots while Sheikh Khalifa was sidelined by poor health.

Under his low-key direction, the United Arab Emirates has put a man in space, sent a probe to Mars and opened its first nuclear reactor, while using its oil-funded clout to develop a more assertive foreign policy.

Closely allied with Saudi Arabia, it has emerged as a leader of a reshaped Middle East since the retreat of traditional powers and the reduced involvement of the United States, forging ties with Israel and joining a war against Iran-backed militants in Yemen.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed's death

Sheikh Mohamed's predecessor, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, passed away on Friday.

The Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced the death of Khalifa, who was also ruler of the UAE's richest emirate, Abu Dhabi, but gave no details.

“The Ministry of Presidential Affairs mourns to the UAE people, Arab and Islamic nations and the world the death of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who passed away on Friday,” the ministry said in a statement on state media.

The UAE would observe a 40-day mourning period with flags flown at half-mast as of Friday and suspend work at all public and private sector entities for three days, the ministry added.

Condolences started pouring in from Arab leaders including Bahrain's king, Egypt's president and Iraq's prime minister soon after Khalifa's death.

In his condolence message, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he was deeply grieved to hear about Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed's death.

Opinion

Editorial

Mianwali raid
Updated 02 Feb, 2023

Mianwali raid

The military needs to share intelligence with civilian agencies to neutralise the militant menace nationwide.
Corruption unlimited
02 Feb, 2023

Corruption unlimited

PAKISTAN’S consistent slide on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index over the last several...
Women police officers
02 Feb, 2023

Women police officers

IN a heartening development, a second female police officer has been appointed as DPO in Attock, weeks after the...
Road to perdition
Updated 01 Feb, 2023

Road to perdition

This is also the time of reckoning for those who sowed the seeds of a disastrous policy against militants.
Transport tragedies
01 Feb, 2023

Transport tragedies

TWO tragedies over the weekend illustrate the weak protocols governing the safety of transport in Pakistan. In fact,...
Disqualifying Jam Awais
01 Feb, 2023

Disqualifying Jam Awais

IT appears that there may be some kind of small punishment after all for PPP lawmaker Jam Awais, who was pardoned ...