Powerful Hamad bin Jassim: Major loser in Qatar power shift

Allegiance ceremony... Farewell ceremony

DOHA - Al Jazeera television said on Wednesday that Qatar's prime minister, a driving force behind the country's rise to global prominence, would be replaced in a cabinet reshuffle following the accession of a new emir in the US-allied Gulf Arab state.
The Qatar-based satellite channel said current minister of state for interior affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Naser al-Thani, had been chosen to be the next prime minister, succeeding the powerful Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani.
Sheikh Hamad also held the post of minister for foreign affairs for 18 years.
Sheikh Abdullah, a member of the ruling family, has been state minister for internal affairs since February 2005.
The reshuffle is also expected to see the appointment of new ministers of the interior, foreign affairs, as well as finance and commerce, sources said.
Sheikh Hamad's deputy, Khaled al-Attiyah, could become the next foreign minister, they said.
Energy minister Mohammed al-Sada will retain his post, while Attorney General Ali bin Fetais al-Marri could become minister of justice.
The new government is expected to be announced when Sheikh Tamim makes his first address to the nation later Wednesday marking his official enthronement as new ruler of the gas-rich state.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was named emir following the abdication of his father on Tuesday in a transition rare in Gulf Arab countries, where heads of state normally rule for life.
Qatar is the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas and key financier of Arab Spring uprisings.
Diplomats said earlier this month that Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim was expected to step down as part of the transition.
There was no reference to him during Tuesday's ceremonies and he was not seen in television coverage of the thousands who came to pledge allegiance to the new ruler. Sheikh Tamim is due to deliver his first address to Qatari citizens on Wednesday evening at 1500 GMT.