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The death of Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, leaves a vacuum in Arab leadership that will not be replaced quickly or easily
The death Tuesday of the president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, leaves a vacuum in Arab leadership that will not be replaced quickly or easily. He succeeded because of his instinctive understanding of how to promote good governance, which remarkably he did in a new country, within a turbulent region, during difficult times. Three particular dimensions of his leadership will be remembered among his many achievements, and should provide lasting lessons for other leaders in the Middle East who also strive for stable and equitable nation-building. The most important was his ability to mould the different emirates into a coherent and lasting union. He did this through patient leadership that valued consultation and real power-sharing, so that all members of the UAE felt they had both a stake and a say in how the union was managed, the Daily Star reported. According to the Al-Jazeera, United Arab Emirates Deputy President Shaikh Maktoum bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who is also ruler of Dubai, has taken over the reins during the transition following the death of President Shaikh Zayid bin Sultan al-Nahayan. Under the UAE constitution, Sheikh Maktoum, who is also prime minister, will "exercise all the prerogatives" of the head of state until the Supreme Federal Council grouping the rulers of the seven emirates making up the Gulf federation - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah and Um al-Qaiwain - selects Shaikh Zayid's successor. The ailing Sheikh Zayed, who was in his late 80s, had governed the seven-member oil-rich OPEC member since its birth in 1971 and was genuinely loved by his people. His death came a day after the announcement of the first cabinet reshuffle in the desert country in seven years. Zayed`s heir apparent is his eldest son and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, informs Turkish Press.
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