Qatar emir “to hand power to his son”

Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, told members of the royal family on Monday of his decision to hand over power to his son, Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim, Al-Jazeera television reported.

The emir "has ended his meeting with the royal family and prominent members of Qatari society," the satellite broadcaster announced. "He has informed the meeting of his decision to hand power over to his crown prince."

Following the announcement, authorities declared a national holiday on Tuesday to mark the long rumoured shake-up within Qatar's royal family.

Qatar News Agency meanwhile reported Sheikh Hamad would address the nation at 8 am on Tuesday.

The outgoing crown prince ousted his father from power in a bloodless palace coup in 1995.

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