Dubai, November 11: Bahrain's Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al Khalifa died on Wednesday, the royal palace announced on Twitter. Khalifa was one of the world's longest-serving prime minister who led his island nation's government for decades. He had survived the 2011 Arab Spring protests that demanded his ouster over corruption allegations. Khalifa, who was 84, had been receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic. Bahrain will observe a week-long mourning, and flags will be flown at half-mast. Meanwhile, government ministries and departments will be closed for three days starting Thursday.
About Bahrain's PM Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al Khalifa:
Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa was born on November 24, 1935. He was a Bahraini royal and politician who has served as the Prime Minister of Bahrain since 1970, taking office over a year before Bahrain's independence on August 15, 1971.
Prince Khalifa was born in Bahrain, the second son of Salman ibn Hamad Al Khalifa, Hakim of Bahrain, and wife Mouza bint Hamad Al Khalifa. He was educated at Manama High School and Rifa’a Palace School in Bahrain.
Prince Khalifa was appointed as prime minister by his brother Emir Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, in 1971. Therefore, he was assigned the control of government and economy, while his brother, the Emir, involved in diplomatic and ceremonial affairs. Khalifa received World Peace Culture Award on August 6, 2017.
Khalifa was the longest-serving current Prime Minister of any government in the world.
Under the 2002 Constitution he lost some of his powers, with the King having the authority to appoint and (along with the Bahraini parliament) dismiss ministers.
He was the paternal uncle of the reigning King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and granduncle of the Crown Prince Salman, since he was the younger brother of the former Emir Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
Prince Khalifa's power and wealth could be seen everywhere in this small nation off the coast of Saudi Arabia home to the US Navy's 5th Fleet.
His official portrait hung for decades on walls alongside the country's ruler. He had his own private island where he met foreign dignitaries, complete with a marina and a park that had peacocks and gazelle roam its grounds.
The prince represented an older style of Gulf leadership, one that granted patronage and favors for support of the Sunni Al Khalifa family. That style would be challenged in the 2011 protests by the island's Shiite majority and others, who demonstrated against him over long-running corruption allegations surrounding his rule.
Sheikh Khalifa served as prime minister since 1970, taking office over a year before Bahrain's independence on 15 August 1971. The burial ceremony will take place after the repatriation of the body, and the funeral will be limited to a specific number of relatives. “The Royal Court mourns his royal highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman, the prime minister, who passed away this morning at the Mayo Clinic, USA,” the state-run Bahrain News Agency reported.